Vietnam has been praised for its achievements in preventing animal diseases and animal-to-human epidemics over the past five years.

The representative of the World Organisation for Animal Health made the remark at the Partnership in Avian Flu and Human Influenza (PAHI)’s international consultative conference on Vietnam Integrated National Operational Programme on Avian Influenza, Pandemics Preparedness and Other Emerging Infectious Diseases (AIPED) for the 2011-2015 period, which took place in Hanoi on June 21.

Diep Kinh Tan, Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said that over the past five years, Vietnam has invested over four trillion VND in veterinary work, including equipment for labs and testing centres, safe breeding process for farms and vaccination campaigns which helped reduce epidemics considerably.

Awareness of community as well as authorities’ capacity to cope with epidemics was improved through training courses on management of public health emergencies and rehearsals for epidemic outbreaks, he said.

Tan underlined that due to frequent outbreaks of animal diseases, more investment is a priority of the sector to ensure sustainable efficiency of activities against contagious diseases.

According to the AIPED draft for the 2011-2015 period, the total cost for this mission is estimated at about 383 million USD, of which over 203 million USD will be sourced by official development assistance from governments and international organisations.

At present, the US Agency for International Development is providing support to activities against avian flu and epidemic threats in Vietnam through the United Nations technical organisations, international non-governmental organisations and private contractors./.