Danish Bird Flu Support Praised in Vietnam

When Vietnam experienced yet another outbreak of the so-called avian flu in 2005, few national aid donors were able to act as swiftly as Denmark. The Danish support was given with a short response time of less than two months, which has impressed many, including the official consultants behind the so-called Annual Sector Review. Their recently published review of the Agricultural Sector Programme Support (ASPS) includes a special report on the foreign support for bird flu control in Vietnam last year. The review considered the Danish support to be both “fast” as well as “highly relevant and well considered”, and according to the review it benefited a large proportion of its target group; since the Danish-funded information leaflets reached 10 out of an estimated 12 million rural households.

42 Have Died
The Danish support consisted mainly of a grant financing desease prevention, communication, and laboratory equipment as well as information materials. Geographically the technical support reached 49 provinces, while information material reached all 64 provinces. As the Annual Sector Review agrees, the Danish support appears to have contributed significantly to the current positive status on bird flu in Vietnam.
     Since October 1st last year, bird flu outbreaks have been recorded in 24 provinces and 3,5 million birds have been killed. 93 cases of human infection have been registered, of which 42 have died. Thanks to the foreign support to the Vietnamese control measures, there have been no new outbreaks of avian flu in poultry in 2006 and no reports of human infection.
     Vietnam has already suffered from large economic losses because of the avian flu outbreaks. The epidemic has reared its ugly head three times since 2004. Thus many resources have been invested in preventing the disease to spread further.

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