USAID assists Vietnam in pandemic response planning


VNA - The Avian and Pandemic Influenza Initiative ( APII ) of the US Agency for International Development (U SAI D) and its partners held a workshop in Hanoi on October 31 to share experiences in building p lans to respond to pandemics. 
The APII is a three-year project aiming to build up the capacity of the Vietnamese Government and its counterparts in identifying, preventing and controlling influenza outbreaks in both animals and humans. 
Most major cities and provinces across the country have so far built pandemic preparedness plans ( PPP ) in accordance with the prime minister’s requirement. 
However, these plans only focused on measures for the health sector, while neglecting the role of social organisations, businesses and local communities. 
In addition, the plans failed to envision how the localities will maintain the supply of essential necessities such as food, electricity and water during and after an epidemic, as well as continue the response measures in the case that epidemic occurs. 
In addressing this problem, the USAID’s APII has compiled training materials for local authorities, with officials from the southern province of Kien Giang becoming the first to receive training in the community-based approach to PPP drafting. 
Subsequently, Kien Giang became the first province in the country to develop a PPP with the full participation of all social sectors. The plan was approved by the provincial People’s Committee in May. 
Between December 2011 and March this year, 250 communal officials from five provinces of Ha Nam, Hung Yen, Quang Tri, Kien Giang and Can Tho also received training on how to build a community-based PPP, as part of the USAID/ APII . 
The USAID began its assistance to the fight against bird flu and pandemics in Vietnam in 2005, with funding so far totalled 48 million USD. -VNA