UN supports One Health approach for better coordination on avian pandemics and emerging threats

13 Feb 2014

image Photo: UNDP Viet Nam/Shutterstock

Ha Noi - Viet Nam’s responsiveness to avian pandemics and emerging threats has received a boost with the approval of the two-year “Strengthening Capacity for One Health in Viet Nam” project to improve coordination and policy dialogue on these health threats.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project, funded by USAID and implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Health (MOH), was recently approved by the Government of Viet Nam (GVN) to support capacity, coordination and knowledge sharing for the application of the One Health approach in Viet Nam.

Through an US$800,000 grant from USAID, UNDP in Viet Nam will help reduce public health threats from avian and pandemic influenza (API) and other emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) through the application of a One Health approach in Viet Nam.

“One Health recognizes that the health of people is inextricably linked to the health of animals, both wild and domestic, as animal diseases can jump to humans if given the chance,” said UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam, Ms Pratibha Metha. “We need to develop effective policies, up-to-date regulatory approaches, enable good enforcement and raise public awareness to ensure our safety through disease prevention in humans, livestock and wild animals”.

Through this project, the UN in Viet Nam will promote revised national coordination mechanisms between the animal health and human health sectors, by enhancing the capacity and skills of the MARD and MOH in step with technical dialogues linked to national and international trends.

The One Health approach was adopted by the GVN in 2010 to apply a cross-sectoral policy and coordination approach to deal with serious health threats that arise at the animal-human-environment interface. The project will also develop a concrete proposal for a One Health coordination structure with the GVN and support the drafting of a One Health roadmap. Partners from the animal, human and environmental fields in the GVN and development partners, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO) and U.S. Center of Diseases Control already contribute to the One Health approach. In addition, the project will commission 10 studies with professional institutions, universities, research institutes and civil society organizations to enhance national research capacity and knowledge on avian influenza pandemics, emerging infectious diseases and the One Health approach.

Viet Nam is located in a relatively high-risk region for emerging infectious diseases, with the new Influenza A/H7N9 virus recently detected in humans and animals in neighboring China underlining a potentially serious threat to public health and economic development. These types of emerging health threats underscore the call by the UN in Viet Nam for greater coordination and collaboration between sectors and agencies to address diseases that impact on health, food security and safety, livelihoods, trade and economic development.

UNDP and USAID previously worked together with the GVN on API issues via the GVN/United Nations Joint Programme on Avian Influenza (2005-2011) and the project “Support to Knowledge Management and Policy Dialogue through the Partnership on Avian and Pandemic Influenza (KMP-API)” from 2011 to 2013.

More resources:
http://www.avianinfluenza.org.vn/
www.undp.org.vn
www.usaid.gov

Media contacts:

Project Manager, Dao Thu Trang Tel: (84-4) 37711 356, email: trang.dt@avianinfluenza.org.vn

UNDP: Nguyen Viet Lan Tel: (84-4) 38224383 x121, email: nguyen.viet.lan@undp.org