The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched the Emerging Pandemic Threats 2 (EPT-2) program to support efforts in Vietnam to better prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease threats. This program is closely aligned with the key objectives of the governments’ partnership on the Global Health Security Agenda and Vietnam’s adoption of the International Health Regulations.
The EPT-2 program builds on cooperation and partnerships over the past decade among USAID and its partners, including successes on Avian Influenza, to preempt or combat newly emerging diseases at their source, including those of animal origin. EPT-2 will help more than 20 focus countries in Africa and Asia detect viruses with pandemic potential, improve laboratory capacity to support surveillance, strengthen national and local capacities to respond in an appropriate and timely manner, and provide education on ways to prevent exposure to these dangerous pathogens.
“Infectious diseases are still among the foremost dangers to human health and the global economy,” said USAID Vietnam Mission Director Joakim Parker. “The EPT-2 program supports Vietnam’s efforts to protect us all against infectious disease threats and contribute to global health security.”
USAID program is being implemented in Vietnam with technical collaboration from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization, and with partners in three new project areas: Predict 2, One Health Workforce, and Preparedness and Response.
Vietnam is located in a relatively high-risk region for emerging infectious diseases. The new influenza A/H7N9 virus recently detected in humans and animals in neighboring China is an example of potentially serious regional threats to public health and economic development. Such emerging health threats underscore the call by USAID and other key stakeholders in Vietnam for greater coordination and collaboration among sectors and agencies to address diseases that impact on health, food security and safety, livelihoods, trade, and economic development. Since 2005, USAID has provided more than $60 million to support Vietnam’s programs to combat avian influenza and other pandemic threats.
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For more information on USAID’s support to prevent pandemic influenza and other emerging threats in Vietnam go to: http://www.usaid.gov/vietnam/pandemic-influenza-and-other-emerging-threats.