Viet Nam has had an active control programme against H5N1 avian influenza since the disease was first detected in 2003. This control programme has been successful and cases of H5N1 in poultry and people have declined progressively and dramatically – however many challenges remain. Viet Nam’s strong commitment to fight Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) is the major factor behind the success for containment of the disease. Several donors and agencies, including the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Ministry of Health (MOH) since the first HPAI outbreak in 2003 and continue to do so.
H5N1 viruses will likely continue to persist and be a concern for Viet Nam and more widely, posing a threat to the poultry industries, and remain a potential source of pandemic human influenza. It should be recognized that influenza viruses continuously evolve through mutation and re-assortments that this is a natural process which requires on-going monitoring.
Viet Nam was among the first countries in Asia to report the highly pathogenic avian influenza A(H5N1) virus (HPAI) and remains one of the worst affected in terms of human infections, with 119 confirmed human
cases and 59 deaths. The virus has had a direct measurable impact on Viet Nam's economy.
In order to identify progress achieved in Vietnam’s national Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) since its evaluation in 2003, a comprehensive review of EPI was conducted 30 March to 10 April 2009. The key objectives of the 2009 EPI review were to assess the following:
An immunization coverage survey was conducted in the same six provinces as the EPI review during the period 6-17 April 2009, and the complete findings are summarized in a separate report. Overall, the immunization coverage survey demonstrated very high levels of coverage for all vaccines except the Hepatitis B birth dose within 24 hours of birth, with slight delays in fully immunizing children by twelve months of age.