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Cablegate: Vietnam - November 3 Avian Influenza Report

VZCZCXRO0021
RR RUEHHM RUEHLN RUEHMA RUEHPB
DE RUEHHI #2803/01 3100049
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 060049Z NOV 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY HANOI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3904
INFO RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH 2089
RUEHZS/ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM COLLECTIVE
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3029
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 5620
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 1041
RUEHGZ/AMCONSUL GUANGZHOU 0740
RUEHCN/AMCONSUL CHENGDU 0272
RUEHSUN/USUN ROME IT
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 1421
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 002803

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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 VM
SUBJECT: VIETNAM - NOVEMBER 3 AVIAN INFLUENZA REPORT

HANOI 00002803 001.3 OF 003


SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED

REF: HANOI 2686 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. On November 1, the Charge d'Affaires
signed the Partnership Framework for Avian and Human Influenza
(PAHI) along with nine donors and three non-governmental
organizations. The USG is the second largest donor (after Japan)
and has committed and pledged over USD 12 million of the total USD
94.2 million received by the Government of Vietnam (GVN). A senior
MARD official stated that the GVN has spent USD 15.3 million on 260
million vaccines and administered these to 124 million poultry, or
90 percent of the birds in targeted areas. He added that
post-vaccination virus surveillance in 19 high-risk provinces
indicates the national vaccination campaign has been an effective
intervention. The GVN announced that one million doses of Tamilfu
and 1,000 respirators are stockpiled. The French pharmaceutical
company Sanofi Pasteur successfully conducted human trials on a H5N1
vaccine based on a Vietnamese H5N1 strain isolated in 2004. In Lam
Dong Province, 4,000 ducks were culled following the suspicious
deaths of several hundred animals. Party officials in the northern
province of Quang Ninh were removed from leadership and stripped of
their party membership as a result of embezzling funds earmarked for
AI prevention. 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.

PARTNERSHIP FRAMEWORK FOR AVIAN AND HUMAN INFLUENZA
--------------------------------------------- ------

3. (SBU) On November 1, the Charge d'Affaires signed the
Partnership Framework for Avian and Human Influenza (PAHI) along
with nine donors and three non-governmental organizations. The
PAHI, officially titled "Partnership Framework between National
Steering Committee for Avian Influenza of the Socialist Republic of
Vietnam and International Partners Concerning the Establishment of
the Partnership Framework for Avian and Human Influenza," is
non-binding and voluntary. Commonly known as the Green Book, it
provides the overall framework for donor coordination to support the
GVN's "Integrated Operational (IO) Program for Avian and Human
Influenza (2006-2010)."

4. (SBU) The partnership meeting follows on the June 2006 donor
conference aimed at funding the Green Book, which is estimated to
cost USD 250 million through 2010. The GVN pledged USD 100 million
and hoped that the donor community would fill a gap of USD 150
million. As of November 1, the USG is the second largest donor,
after Japan's pledge of USD 14.5 million. The USG has committed or
pledged over $12 million of the total USD 94.2 million received by
the GVN. The European Community, World Bank and Asian Development
Bank have also contributed sizable amounts, at USD 12 million, USD
10 million and USD 9.7 million respectively.

5. (SBU) In the meeting, Minister of Agriculture and Rural
Development Cao Duc Phat praised the international donor community
for their support to Vietnam and listed a number of clear actions,
including vaccinations, biosafety measures and early detection
systems, that have helped Vietnam to remain free of AI outbreaks in
poultry and human cases for nearly one year. Minister Phat
acknowledged that the GVN needs to step up efforts to control bird
movements, including across the northern border, and coordinate the
animal and human sides of the AI fight. Several Chiefs-of-Missions,

HANOI 00002803 002.2 OF 003


taking the lead of the Australian Ambassador, pressed the GVN to
remain vigilant, share lessons with their neighbor countries, namely
Laos and Indonesia, and to reinvigorate the GVN's public awareness
campaign.

6. (SBU) At the meeting, a senior MARD official stated that the GVN
has spent USD 15.3 million on 260 million vaccines and administered
these to 124 million poultry, or 90 percent of the birds in targeted
areas. (Note: There are an estimated 250 million chickens and ducks
in Vietnam. End note.) The official added that post-vaccination
virus surveillance in 19 high-risk provinces indicates that the
national vaccination campaign has been an effective intervention.

TAMIFLU STOCKPILE AND HUMAN VACCINES
------------------------------------

7. (SBU) Vice Minister of Health Trinh Quan Huan announced on
October 20 that the GVN had purchased one million Tamiflu
(oseltamivir phosphate) tablets and was distributing them to
hospitals across the country. VM Huan also announced that 1,000
respirators, 100 tons of the disinfectant Chloramin B, one million
medical gloves and masks, and 1,000 chemical sprayers to disinfect
poultry farms. (NOTE: Health officials in central Vietnam reported
to HCMC ECONOff that no additional Tamiflu had been received since
late 2005. END NOTE.)

8. (U) Thanh Nien News and multiple global media outlets reported
that France-based pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur had
successfully conducted human trials on a H5N1 vaccine based on a
Vietnamese H5N1 strain isolated in 2004. Sanofi Pasteur vaccinated
300 volunteers with the Vietnamese strain of the virus and then
tested antibodies from the vaccinated volunteers with H5N1 strains
from Turkey and Indonesia. Preliminary results of the trials
indicate that a vaccine based on a Vietnamese H5N1 strain can be
effective in neutralizing antibodies from H5N1 viruses found in
other countries. Dr. Klaus Stohr of the WHO indicated that while
vaccine tests on mice and other mammals had suggested
cross-protection was possible, Sanofi Pasteur's trials were the
first to indicate cross-protection in humans. Dr. Angus Nicoll,
Director of Influenza Coordination at the European Center for
Disease Prevention and Control, added that even if a vaccine offered
cross-protection, it could not be used to inoculate humans from
other influenza subtypes.

CULLINGS AND HEADS THAT ROLL
----------------------------

9. (U) Vietnam News Agency reported that 4,000 ducks in the Central
Highlands province of Lam Dong have been culled following the
suspicious deaths of several hundred animals. Local animal health
authorities reportedly killed the 70-day-old poultry after observing
the animals to be bloated, immobile, and thiamine deficient. The
owner of the flock admitted to buying the newly-born ducks from a
source in Ho Chi Minh City, which local media described as
"dubious." Animal Health authorities also confirmed to Thanh Nien
News that the ducks in question had yet to be vaccinated against
H5N1. Authorities have yet to identify the cause of the duck
deaths.

10. (U) Party officials in the northern province of Quang Ninh were
removed from leadership and stripped of their party membership after
embezzling funds earmarked for AI prevention. Dow Jones Newswire
reported on October 24 that two officials in the town of Tan Viet
embezzled VND 47 million (USD 2,930) by inflating the number of
culled waterfowl in the village. The GVN compensates individual

HANOI 00002803 003.2 OF 003


poultry owners between VND 5,000 (33 cents) and VND 20,000 (USD
1.33) per culled bird. Two other town officials were reportedly
given a warning over their involvement in the embezzlement.

MARINE

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