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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 02 HANOI 002858

SIPDIS


FOR USAID/RDM-A/BANGKOK
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
27, 2005

REF: A) Hanoi 2655 and previous

1. (U) Summary. There have been no new cases of human Avian
Influenza (AI) reported since Mission Vietnam's last weekly
update on October 20 (reftel). The Government of Vietnam
(GVN) continues its poultry vaccination program and the
National Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) will
hold a 2-day planning workshop for implementation of the
HHS/CDC Cooperative Agreement to enhance their capabilities
as a National Influenza Center. The Australian Government
will provide an additional AUD $3 million ($2.26 million) to
Vietnam to fight against a possible bird flu epidemic and
the Embassy continues to plan for an AI pandemic. End
Summary.

NO NEW HUMAN CASES
------------------

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

ANIMAL HEALTH
-------------

3. (U) Recent discussion with Vietnamese animal health
officials reveal that although the goal remains nationwide
vaccination of all poultry, officials are prioritizing to
increase the probability of success even if nationwide
targets are not reached. Officials are first vaccinating in
areas that have been prone to past outbreaks and are also
working to first assure that duck populations are
vaccinated. The ducks are most important because they are
asymptomatic carriers that can spread the disease
effectively whereas AI kills most chickens. In fact, some
international experts suggest that a program that only
vaccinates ducks could be successful.

U.S. - VIETNAM AI COORDINATION
------------------------------

4. (U) NIHE is holding a 2-day planning workshop on October
27-28 for implementation of the HHS/CDC Cooperative
Agreement to enhance their capabilities as a National
Influenza Center. Leaders and key staff from partner
institutions have been invited, including the Directors of
NIHE, Pasteur Institutes of HCMC, Nha Trang, and Central
Highlands; National Institute for Clinical Research and
Tropical Medicine; National Pediatric Hospital in Hanoi;
Pediatric Hospital #1; Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho
Chi Minh City; Khanh Hoa General Hospital in Nha Trang; Dak
Lak General Hospital; and Kien Xuong District Health Center,
Thai Binh Province. Three HHS/CDC scientists will
participate in the program demonstrating laboratory
techniques and data collection procedures.

5. (U) The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)
held an AI coordination meeting in Bangkok on October 19-20
to finalize the country plans for emergency AI activities.
According to USAID, the funds have been transferred and FAO
is completing a budget for disaster preparedness planning.

6. (U) The Academy for Educational Development (AED) was is
in Vietnam this week to develop an AI public awareness
campaign. AED specializes in behavior change and social
marketing with 1500 staff in 50 offices worldwide and
was awarded $2 million to conduct AI health communication
interventions. Letters of Agreement between AED and each
FAO country office are being drafted to define the working
relationships between the Communications Advisors and FAO
staff.

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY EFFORTS
-------------------------------

7. (U) The Australian Government will provide an additional
AUD $3 million ($2.26 million) to Vietnam to fight against a
possible bird flu epidemic. The Australian Agency for
International Development will help the country to enhance
the capability of managing public health emergencies with a
focus on bird flu. One third of the assistance will be
delivered through a program jointly conducted by the World
Health Organization (WHO), FAO and the UN Development
Program (UNDP), in partnership with the Vietnamese National
Steering Committee for Avian Influenza Control.

PRESS REPORTS ON AI
-------------------

8. (U) In response to increasing threats of a bird flu
outbreak, press reports indicate the GVN plans to ban the
raising and trade of live fowls in cities' inner areas
nationwide and banning the sales of popular dishes made from
poultry's fresh blood. The National Anti-Bird Flu Steering
Committee is also drafting a regulation on the breeding,
trade and slaughtering fowls.

9. (U) Local press also reported on October 27 that three
Vietnamese pharmaceutical companies will begin producing
Tamiflu between now and December. According to the Director
of the Vietnam Pharmaceuticals Administration Department Cao
Minh Quan, the decision was made following negotiations with
Roche Pharmaceuticals. Quan estimates that Vietnam needs to
stockpile 25 million doses of Tamilfu in the event of an AI
pandemic. (Note: Post has not confirmed this information
and doubts the likelihood that an agreement with Roche has
been finalized. End Note).

EMBASSY AI MEETINGS
-------------------

10. (U) The Embassy's AI Working Group met on October 26 to
discuss contingency planning and response to a potential AI
outbreak. Post will have a digital video conference with
the U.S. Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City next week to
continue AI contingency planning.

BOARDMAN

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