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Cablegate: Vietnam - October 20 Avian Influenza Report

VZCZCXRO6773
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB
DE RUEHHI #2686/01 2960231
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 230231Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3766
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2014
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3015
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5603
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1018
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0728
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0265
RUEHRN/USMISSION UN ROME
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1411
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEHPH/CDC ATLANTA GA
RUEAUSA/DEPT OF HHS WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC//USDP/ISA/AP//
RHMFISS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC//J2/J3/J5//
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC//DHO-3//
RHMFIUU/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI//J00/J2/J3/J5//
RHEFAFM/DIRAFMIC FT DETRICK MD//MA-1A//

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 HANOI 002686

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y (PARA TEXT)

STATE FOR EAP/MLS, EAP/EP, INR, OES/STC, OES/IHA, MED
STATE PASS TO USAID FOR ANE AND GH
STATE PASS TO HHS/OGHA (WSTIEGER, EELVANDER AND ABHAT) USDA PASS TO
APHIS
DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE FOR OSD/ISA/AP (LSTERN)
BANGKOK FOR RMO, CDC, USAID (JMACARTHUR AND MBRADY)
ROME FOR FAO

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: TBIO KFLU AMED AMGT CASC EAGR PINR SOCI

SUBJECT: VIETNAM - OCTOBER 20 AVIAN INFLUENZA REPORT

HANOI 00002686 001.2 OF 003

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SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

REF: HANOI 2512 AND PREVIOUS

1. (SBU) Summary. There have been no reported human Avian
Influenza (AI) cases and no confirmed AI outbreaks in poultry to
date this year in Vietnam. With the winter season approaching, the
Government of Vietnam (GVN) has announced the need to tighten AI
controls. On October 19, the RAND Corporation conducted Vietnam's
first national-level AI Pandemic Tabletop Exercise at the Ministry
of Health (MOH). The MOH has established the National Influenza
Surveillance System with support from HHS/CDC and the World Health
Organization (WHO). The GVN and United Nations Development Program
(UNDP) seeks to establish a formal international partnership for
Avian and
Human Influenza in Vietnam and has invited relevant donors to a
signing ceremony tentatively scheduled November 1, 2006. The World
Bank hosted an informal meeting of international partners to discuss
the evaluation of a World Bank-supported, two-year Avian Influenza
Emergency Recovery Project (AIEPR) and introduce a follow-up
multi-year effort, the Vietnam Avian and Human Influenza Control and
Preparedness Project (VAHIP). End Summary.

2. (U) There have been no reported Avian Influenza (AI) cases and
no confirmed AI outbreaks in poultry to date this year in Vietnam.


GVN Prepares for Winter Flu Season
----------------------------------

3. (U) With the winter season approaching, the GVN has announced
the need to tighten AI controls. At a recent meeting of the
National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Control, Vice Minister of
Agriculture and Rural Development Bui Ba Bong urged Vietnamese
officials to remain vigilant in the remaining months of 2006, noting
that the cooler temperatures of
winter are a factor in the spread of AI. Local authorities were
reportedly urged to conduct the second vaccination campaign for this
year, disinfect high-risk areas, and strictly control trading and
transport of poultry and poultry products. Officials were also
urged to closely monitor, detect and quickly curb outbreaks
effectively. An anti-bird flu month was launched nationwide from
October 15 to November 15 to raise awareness throughout the
provinces.

4. (U) According to Thanh Nhien Daily, Director of MARD's Animal
Breeding Department Nguyen Dang Vang said that seasonal poultry
breeding was on the rise as farmers meet the demand of the upcoming
wedding season and the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday. According to
the report, the increased demand for poultry coupled with the recent
foot and mouth outbreaks in cattle have driven the price for chicken
products upward. Mr. Vang also stated that the price of one
kilogram of processed chicken cost between VND 60,000 to 70,000 in
Hanoi.

RAND Conducts National-level AI Pandemic Tabletop Exercise
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. (SBU) On October 19, the RAND Corporation, sponsored by the
Department of Human Health and Services (HHS), Center for Disease
Control (CDC), conducted Vietnam's first national-level AI Pandemic
Tabletop Exercise at the Ministry of Health (MOH). Over 60 GVN

HANOI 00002686 002.2 OF 003


participants and international observers (including HHS Health
Attache and Embassy's MEDOff) participated in the tabletop exercise
for senior-level officials from Ministries of Health, Agriculture
and Rural Development, Defense, Finance, Public Security,
Transportation and other agencies. The exercise involved a human
H5N1 pandemic scenario that began in neighboring Cambodia and
involved millions of deaths as it spread throughout Vietnam.
Logistical issues were discussed openly by the participants,
including how to transport Tamiflu from storage caches to outbreak
areas, the need to investigate domestic production of face masks,
and the need for provincial governments to bear some of the costs of
emergency response and treatment. (Comment: MEDOff's observation of
the tabletop exercise was that it was very effective for those who
participated and extremely relevant given the current AI situation
in Vietnam. End comment.)

Vietnam's Influenza Surveillance System Up and Running
--------------------------------------------- ---------

6. (SBU) The MOH has established the National Influenza
Surveillance System with support from HHS/CDC and the WHO. After
nearly a year of technical assistance and discussions concerning
sample transfer sensitivity issues, the MOH working with WHO/Vietnam
successfully sent human influenza specimens that were collected over
the past year by the surveillance program from Hanoi to one of the
four WHO Global Collaborating Centers, CDC in Atlanta. In addition,
the MOH has joined FluNet(http://gamapserver.who.int/
GlobalAtlas/home.asp). FluNet was developed in collaboration with
the Institute for Medical Research and Health, Paris, France. The
WHO links national influenza centers and collaborating centers for
global influenza surveillance through FluNet.

World Bank AI Emergency Recovery Project
----------------------------------------

7. (SBU) The GVN and UNDP seeks to establish a formal international
partnership for Avian and Human Influenza in Vietnam. The UNDP has
drafted a "Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Between the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam and International Partners Concerning the
Establishment of the Vietnam Partnership for Avian and Human
Pandemic Influenza (PAHI)," which appears to be a non-binding
partnership agreement, and has invited relevant donors to a signing
ceremony tentatively scheduled November 1, 2006. Legal experts from
the Department, USAID and HHS are currently reviewing the draft MOU
and will pass any comments via the Embassy to UNDP.

World Bank AI Emergency Recovery Project
----------------------------------------

8. (SBU) On October 13, 2006, the World Bank hosted an informal
meeting of international partners to discuss the evaluation of a
World Bank-supported,
two-year Avian Influenza Emergency Recovery Project (AIEPR) and
introduce a follow-up multi-year effort, the Vietnam Avian and Human
Influenza Control and Preparedness Project (VAHIP).

9. (SBU) AIERP focused on several components: strengthening disease
diagnosis and surveillance capacity (provision of training and
equipment), poultry sub-sector rehabilitation (small holder
restocking and policy), and public awareness. All components were
guided by concurrent studies. Data-derived lessons include the
commune-based surveillance is valuable; live-stock restructuring

HANOI 00002686 003.2 OF 003


should be focused on decreasing the risk of animal disease; more
robust monitoring and evaluation is needed; and better coordination
of international technical assistance would lead to greater
efficiency. Project veterinary laboratories need more training (and
not more equipment); restocking is extremely complicated (where
flexibility during implementation is critical); and behavioral
modification of farmers and those in industry is the effective
target for public awareness efforts.

10. (SBU) The proposed new USD 36 million VAHIP project is aligned
with the Green Book and carries forward the following underlying
principle: to link activities to a broader agenda to strengthen the
capacity of the sector to detect, control, and respond to avian
influenza and other emerging infectious diseases. It consists of
three components: animal health and production (control source of
avian influenza) including introducing best practices more widely
throughout the supply chain; human health (detect and respond to
human cases); and project management and capacity building (overall
and includes preparing for the medical consequences of a human
pandemic). The project is intended to be integrated (MARD and MOH),
decentralized (implementation at the provincial level with
monitoring and evaluation at the central level), blended (50 percent
grant and 50 percent IDA Credit (i.e., re-allocation of "cancelled"
IDA funds), and multi-donor sponsored (co-financing from, for
example, UN, World Bank, European Commission (Multi-donor Trust
Funds-AHITF) and Government of Japan (PHRD Grant) and possible
parallel financing (NZAid and AFD).

11. (SBU) The proposed animal health component is intended to be
targeted, science-based and practical. Various principles include
reducing the control-cost over time, changing industry practice,
conducting minimal culling with ring vaccination in the setting of
clusters, and minimizing the economic impact on poor and rural
communities. The human component will address improving the
technical quality and functioning of the surveillance system;
improving the technical quality and efficiency of curative care
preparedness; strengthening communication for behavior change in
health care staff; and piloting approaches to improving health
sector performance in the provinces and districts. The schedule to
mobilize the VAHIP project is accelerated: selection of provinces
(by October 27), review (by November 16), UNDP appraisals (by
November 27), Government of Vietnam approval (early December), and
negotiations (by December 14).

MARINE

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