USAID helps VN to fight emerging contagious diseases

March 12, 2015 2:54 am 

HA NOI, March 11 — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched its Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 (EPT-2) Programme to support Viet Nam's efforts to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases.

The programme is in line with the key objectives of the two governments' partnership on the Global Health Security Agenda and Viet Nam's implementation of the international health regulations.

"Infectious diseases are still among the foremost dangers to human health and the global economy," USAID Viet Nam Mission Director Joakim Parker said in a statement issued by the US Embassy yesterday.

"The EPT-2 programme supports Viet Nam's efforts to protect us all against infectious diseases and contribute to global heath security."

The programme builds on co-operation and partnership over the past decade, including successes on avian influenza, and preventing or combating emerging diseases at their source, including those of animal origin. It will help more than 20 focus countries in Africa and Asia to detect viruses with pandemic potential, improve laboratories' capacity to support surveillance, strengthen national and local capacities to respond in an appropriate and timely manner, and provide education on ways to prevent exposure to these dangerous pathogens.

Viet Nam is located in a relatively high-risk region for emerging infectious diseases. The new A/H7N9 influenza virus, recently detected in humans and animals in neighbouring China, is an example of potentially serious regional threats to public health and economic development. Such emerging health threats underscore the call by USAID and other key stakeholders in Viet Nam for greater co-ordination and collaboration among sectors and agencies to address diseases that impact on health, food security and safety, livelihoods and trade, besides economic development.

Since 2005, USAID has provided more than USD 60 million to support Viet Nam's programmes to combat avian influenza and other pandemic threats. (PNA/VNS)



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