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Cablegate: Vietnam: Avian Influenza Weekly Report for November

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 002923

SIPDIS

STATE FOR USAID
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 NOVEMBER
3, 2005

REF: A) Hanoi 2858 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 27 (reftel). Two suspected cases of AI
are currently under investigation by the World Health
Organization (WHO). The United Nations Development Program
(UNDP) held a Donor's Meeting on November 1 and Mission
Vietnam's contingency planning for AI continues.

TWO NEW AI CASES, MAYBE.?
-------------------------

2. (SBU) There have been no new human AI cases since August
29. However, according to WHO Resident Representative Dr.
Hans Troedsson, two recent deaths are being investigated by
WHO to determine if AI was the real cause of death.
According to press reports, a 14-year-old girl died on
October 23 and a 26-year old man died on October 26. Both
victims were not related and lived in Quang Binh Province.
Troedsson noted that the cases are "suspicious on clinical
grounds" but that it was too early to tell if the cause of
death was indeed AI.

GOVERNMENT OF VIETNAM EFFORTS
-----------------------------

3. (U) The poultry vaccination program continues to progress
in Vietnam and additional vaccines being imported from
China. Press reports indicate that Minister of Agriculture
and Rural Development (MARD) Cao Duc Phat will ban the
importation of assorted poultry and ornamental birds from
November 1, 2005 to March 31, 2006. Prime Minister Phan Van
Khai also directed MARD and the Ministry of Health to
closely cooperate with WHO and other countries in order to
produce anti-influenza vaccines for poultry and humans in
Vietnam.

4. (U) As a sign that equal attention to AI is now coming
from the political side as well as technical, the Party
Central Committee called in senior MARD officials last week
and later issued a directive instructing lower level
administrative units to implement AI prevention measures.
The Central Committee also tasked the Fatherland Front and
other political organizations with improving public
awareness.

UNITED STATES AI COORDINATION
-----------------------------

5. (U) The Academy for Educational Development (AED) team
funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) has completed their Vietnam country visit and will
be drawing up a regional/country specific work plan for
USAID's review and concurrence. While in Vietnam, AED met
with numerous agencies in the government, other donors and
NGO's working on the sector as well as the Embassy's Public
Affairs office. USAID also continues to garner interest
from the private sector to develop public-private
partnerships to combat AI.

INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY EFFORTS & UN DONOR'S MEETING
--------------------------------------------- -------

6. (U) AUSAID's Global Development Alliance consultant met
with U.S. businesses in Ho Hi Minh City last week to discuss
public-private partnerships to combat AI, including a
possible network of agricultural sales representatives to
disseminate information on AI to rural farmers.

7. (U) Press reports also noted that the Netherlands has
agreed to contribute 1 million Euros (USD 1.2 million) to
support the United Nations-coordinated emergency program
against AI in Vietnam.

8. (U) The Deputy Chief of Mission, USAID Country
Representative and EconOff attended a November 1 UNDP
Donor's Meeting. An FAO/World Bank Mission Team gave a
debriefing and presentation on the progress of the AI
Emergency Project; an update on the joint Government of
Vietnam (GOV) - FAO/WHO/UNDP Program on AI, Phase I -
Emergency Support; and Proposal for Donor Coordination on
AI. According to the team, there has been good progress in
implementing Vietnam's poultry vaccination program but there
have been some delays. The Team also recommended that
donors should improve the coordinating mechanism to fully
account for the funds being provided for AI.

9. (U) The Team stated that there were five priorities for
international support, including: 1) Vaccinations; 2) Early
Warning; 3) Capacity Building; 4) Long-Term Planning; 5)
Awareness Raising and Public Information. UNDP Country
Representative Jordan Ryan stated that while the
UNDP/WHO/FAO AI plan is fully funded for short-term AI
projects, at least USD 121.2 million was needed for long
term AI planning and response.

EMBASSY AI PREPARDNESS
----------------------

10. (SBU) Post's Consular Section Staff attended an October
28 AI preparedness meeting hosted by Dr. Stephanie Lescar of
SOS Clinic. SOS is a clinic that primarily serves the
expatriate community in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. SOS
gave general guidance on AI preparedness and when asked how
much Tamiflu they had on stock, SOS was vague. Dr. Lescar,
however, stated that it was no longer possible to get
Tamiflu in Vietnam.

11. (U) Mission Vietnam continues to work on its AI
contingency plans and held a Digital Video Conference with
the Consulate General in Ho Chi Minh City on November 3.
Mission Vietnam's AI Working Group discussed tripwires, the
use of Tamiflu, shelter in place and evacuation procedures.

MARINE

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