USAID protective equipment donation mitigates pandemic risk

17:05 | 25/11/2013
As Vietnam readies for the upcoming flu season, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) has donated 4,000 sets of personal protective equipment to help animal health workers respond quickly to potential new outbreaks of avian influenza, infectious diseases, and other emerging pandemic threats.

The assistance package, valued at $50,000, comes at the request of Vietnam's Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with technical support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

“This equipment provides critical protection for those working on the frontlines of avian influenza and pandemic outbreaks,” said USAID mission director Joakim Parker. “If these workers remain healthy, they will be able to prevent and respond to emerging threats and outbreaks and ultimately protect the health of us all.”

These supplies are being sent to regional centers and provinces throughout the country most at risk of bird flu or in greatest need of the supplies, which also include 1,000 masks, 1,000 goggles and 4,000 gloves.

The gear will prevent human exposure to the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus and other emerging infectious diseases by limiting the risk of animal-to-human and human-to-human infections during outbreak investigations and response, human case detection and treatment, as well as other activities.

Since 2005, USAID has provided over $50 million in support of Vietnam's programs to combat avian influenza, including more than 64,000 complete sets of personal protective equipment.

By By Kieu Linh

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