The government of Vietnam, with donor support, has set up an additional US$23 million fund for the Vietnam Avian and Human Influenza Control and Preparedness Project.
The fund, consisting of $13 million in aid and $10 million in loans, will be utilised during the project's second phase (2011-14) in 11 cities and provinces including Ha Noi, northern Lang Son, central Binh Dinh and southern Dong Thap and Tay Ninh provinces.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that bird flu broke out again this year with complex and unpredictable results.
"The H5N1 virus has changed its face. There is currently no vaccines with which to treat people who've picked up bird flu," Long confirmed.
He added that the ministry would upgrade the system of preventive medicine and treatment to deal with and stop the spread of the human influenza pandemic as well as other emerging diseases.
The fund will additionally help strengthen coordination between health and veterinary surveillance and disease prevention, jointly overseen by the health, agriculture and rural development sectors.
According to Lai Thi Kim Lan, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development's Veterinary Department, the project helped develop a system to manage the quality of poultry flu tests during its first phase in 2007-11, reducing waiting times from 4.6 days in 2007 to 1.6 days in 2010.
Many market and poultry slaughterhouses have also been upgraded, the Ha Vi wholesale poultry market in Ha Noi built in accordance with hygienic standards and opened last October.
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