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Opening Remarks by Kamal Malhotra United Nations Resident Coordinator, UNDP Resident Representative, Viet Nam and FAO Representative a.i. at National Launching Meeting for the Nationwide Implementation of Viet Nam Animal Health Information System (VAHIS)

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Event: National Launching Meeting for the Nationwide Implementation of Viet Nam Animal Health Information System (VAHIS)

Date: August 28, 2018

Venue: 35 Hung Vuong, Ba Dinh, Viet Nam

  • His Excellency Vice Minister Vu Van Tam, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Mr. Craig Hart, Acting Mission Director of USAID
  • Distinguish participants from provinces
  • Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, I would like to welcome you all to the National launching meeting for the nationwide implementation of the Viet Nam Animal Health Information System (VAHIS) here in Hanoi. I am here today to speak on behalf of the FAO as UN Resident Coordinator. I am pleased to inform you that a new FAO Representative has now been appointed and will arrive in Viet Nam in the first half of September.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and FAO Viet Nam have been working closely together since 1978. Since then, much has been achieved through this partnership and cooperation including; increased food security with a focus on the alleviation of hunger, addressing malnutrition and food safety concerns, sustainable development of the agricultural sector, rural development and sustainable poverty reduction and enhanced resilience of communities to disasters and threats.

Animal Health Information Systems connect disease information between farms, villages, communes, districts, provinces, central veterinary offices, the laboratory and other stakeholders. These systems play an important role in supporting surveillance activities, help with the analysis of animal disease events and facilitate responses to the control of animal diseases in Viet Nam. Currently, the government of Viet Nam's circulars and guidelines for reporting diseases require the reporting of diseases from grassroots to central level with standardized formats through both an immediate and monthly reporting system.

To support and improve legislative reporting requirements, FAO and the Department of Animal Health, with financial support from the United States Agency for International Development, has developed a national electronic animal disease reporting system called Viet Nam Animal Health Information System or VAHIS. This system has incorporated lessons learnt from previous database implementation attempts in Viet Nam, an assessment of the animal health information system in Viet Nam which was completed in 2014, and a consultation process between August – October 2016.

With the standardized format, VAHIS will effectively connect disease information from farms, villages, communes, districts, provinces, Regional Animal Health Offices and other relevant stakeholders. The system is expected to be a crucial instrument in executing and enforcing the government of Viet Nam's circulars and guidelines and ensuring the availability of accurate and timely data to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to support decision making.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

While launching VAHIS is a very important milestone, it is of course not sufficient. VAHIS success can only be achieved with strong commitment and effective implementation of the circulars and guidance. The FAO in Viet Nam would like to call for continued commitment from the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, provincial Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and sub-departments of Livestock and Animal Health to support VAHIS implementation nationwide. With your commitment and support, VAHIS will enable a quick response to disease outbreaks, minimize economic loss and build trust in Viet Nam's livestock products with both domestic and global consumers in the long run.

I would like to thank our colleagues from the Department of Animal Health for their strong collaboration and USAID for their financial support in the development and implementation of VAHIS.

I wish you all good health and look forward to your kind support in making the VAHIS system a success. This should help propel Viet Nam into the next phase of livestock industry development in the near future.

Thank you very much. Xin cảm ơn.