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Cablegate: Vietnam: Avian Influenza Weekly Report for October

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HANOI 002655

SIPDIS

USMISSION FAO ROME PRIORITY
USAID/RDM-A/BANGKOK PRIORITY

SENSITIVE

STATE FOR G; CA/OCS/ACS/EAP; EAP/EX; EAP/BCLTV; EAP/EP; INR;
OES/STC (PBATES); OES/IHA (DSINGER AND NCOMELLA)
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID/RDM/A (MFRIEDMAN)
USDA FOR FAS/PASS TO APHIS
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (LSTERN)
USAID FOR ANE AND GH (DCAROLL, SCLEMENTS AND PCHAPLIN)
STATE PASS USTR (ELENA BRYAN)
STATE ALSO PASS HHS/OGHA (EELVANDER)
ROME FOR FAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: AMED AMGT CASC EAGR PINR SOCI PGOV TBIO VM AFLU
SUBJECT: VIETNAM: AVIAN INFLUENZA WEEKLY REPORT FOR OCTOBER
13, 2005

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

REF: A) Hanoi 2597 and previous B) Hanoi 2609

1. (SBU) Summary. There have been no new cases of human or
poultry Avian Influenza (AI) reported since Mission
Vietnam's last weekly update on October 6. The Ministry of
Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) reported it hopes
to extend the poultry vaccination campaign to an additional
38 provinces by the end of October. Embassy officials
participated in a planning workshop organized by the
Canadian Embassy and the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA) on a new CIDA-funded Canada-Asia Regional
Emerging Diseases (CAREID) project. The FAO and donors
continue to update their assistance plans. Senior Official
for APEC Michael Michalak met with WHO Resident
Representative Dr. Hans Troedssons to discuss AI matters.
The Ambassador met with MOH Vice Minister Trinh Quan Huan,
who was recently appointed as the lead MOH official on AI
issues (reftel B), and hosted a Town Hall meeting for
Embassy staff on AI issues. An AI Town Hall meeting for
private Americans will be held on October 19. The Embassy
will welcome Secretary Michael Leavitt, who will be here to
meet with GVN officials to discuss AI, October 13-15. End
Summary.

No New Human Cases
------------------

2. (U) There have been no new human AI cases since August
29.

Poultry Vaccination Program
---------------------------

3. (U) MARD officials expect the delivery of previously
delayed vaccines and equipment by mid October. They hope to
extend the vaccination provinces to 38 provinces by the end
of October.

4. (U) On a related matter, the GVN has chosen to focus its
yearly disinfection campaign on AI. The initiative asks
poultry farmers and slaughter facility owners to disinfect
their farms in order to prevent an outbreak of AI. Funding
responsibility lies with provincial authorities, therefore
it is unclear how effective project implementation will be.

U.S. and Other Donor Assistance and Coordination
--------------------------------------------- ---

5. (SBU) Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung chaired a
meeting on October 12 to brief donors on steps already taken
to control AI and to inform the group of future plans. This
includes a GVN contingency plan for avian influenza
epidemics, and a human influenza pandemic as well as a
program for emergency support prepared by the GVN, the UNDP
and supporting UN agencies. MARD Minister Cao Duc Phat
followed up on October 13 with a working level meeting
during which the donors were briefed on both plans. The GVN
contingency plan was presented in outline form. It calls
for a number of specific actions geared to possible phases
on an epidemic and is based on the WHO six phase system.
Phat indicated that a more detailed plan would be given to
donors as soon as it could be translated. He also said that
a joint committee would be formed to exchange views with the
donor community on a regular basis.

6. (SBU) The joint UN - GVN emergency support program as
presented provides a framework and budgetary breakout
delineating actions to be taken, GVN partners and associated
costs which will allow donors to better target their
support. An outline for the first six months of emergency
support was given to the donors, and the joint program was
signed in a ceremony at the end of the working session.
(Note: Mission will provide evaluation of the plans as more
details become available. FAO officials involved in the
joint program have confirmed attendance at the USAID
organized planning meeting in Bangkok on October 19 and 20;
they will bring program documents to the meeting.)

7. (SBU) USAID's regional AI public education program is
ramping up. The contractor, AED, will be setting up its
regional headquarters in Hanoi and has assigned Mark
Rasmusson, who has extensive experience with USAID programs
in Vietnam, as team leader. Project staff will participate
in the planning meeting in Bangkok and visit Vietnam
afterwards. In addition, the point person for USAID public
private partnerships component will participate in the
workshop and visit Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City afterwards as
well.

8. (SBU) USAID and HHS officers participated in a strategic
planning workshop organized by the Canadian Embassy and the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) on a new
CIDA-funded Canada-Asia Regional Emerging Diseases (CAREID)
project on October 10 and 11. The goal of CAREID is to
reduce the threat of emerging infectious diseases to human
security, regional stability and sustainable development in
SE Asia and China. CIDA will provide USD 12.76 million
through the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) over a
five-year period (Note: correction from reftel A. End
note.) Participants in the workshop included officials from
MOH, MARD, WHO, FAO, the French Embassy and the Pasteur
Institute. Possible project components discussed were
issues of surveillance, outbreak investigation, laboratory
systems, bio-safety strengthening, emergency responses,
public communications and advocacy, and donor coordination.
A regional project implementation plan will be distributed
for comment late this year, with an anticipated project
launch date in April 2006.

9. (SBU) MARD reported that the U.K. Department for
International Development has contributed funds to remediate
inadequate vaccine refrigeration capacity at the district
level in order to keep the vaccine appropriately chilled at
all times.

Other AI Related Issues
-----------------------
10. (SBU) U.S. Senior Official for APEC Michael Michalak met
with WHO Resident Representative Dr. Hans Troedssons on
October 10 to discuss AI issues, including Vietnam's
capacity for research and investigation, response to a
pandemic, and quarantine (septel).

11. (SBU) The Ambassador chaired a Town Hall meeting on AI
for Embassy staff on October 12. The Embassy's Health
Attache, Dr. Marie Sweeney, gave and overview of the GVN's
plans for AI emergency preparedness and U.S. and other donor
support. Medical Officer Karen McGuire-Rugh discussed how
individuals can protect themselves and their families from
exposure to AI, described symptoms and possible treatment
options, and suggested steps to prepare for an extended
period of shelter in place. Following the presentations,
the Ambassador answered questions from the audience. The
meeting was videotaped for use at ConGen Ho Chi Minh City.
The DCM will chair a similar meeting for the non-Embassy
American community on October 19.

12. (SBU) HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt will arrive in Hanoi
on Thursday, October 13 to meet with Prime Minister Phan Van
Khai and other senior officials to discuss AI issues.
Accompanying the Secretary are U/S for Global Affairs Paula
Dobriansky, CDC Director Julie Gerberding, USDA Deputy U/S
James Butler, and USAID Acting Assistant Administrator for
Global Health Kent Hill, and others. The Secretary and his
delegation will visit an AI lab, an AI vaccine production
facility, health clinics, and a rural village that was
affected by AI.

13. (SBU) The Ambassador took the opportunity during his
first meeting with MOH Vice Minister Trinh Quan Huan, who
was recently appointed as the lead MOH official on AI
issues, to emphasize yet again U.S. concerns over AI
preparedness in Vietnam and offer continued U.S. support
(reftel B).

MARINE

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