Viet Nam animal health authorities' collaboration with Cambodia and Lao PDR to prevent Transboundary Animal Diseases (TADs) spread in the region

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Creating and nurturing effective cross-border partnerships in the TADs control scheme is crucial, as pathogens do not respect borders. To enable countries to be well aware of the region's TADs situation and effectively prevent cross-border transmission of TADs, FAO Viet Nam's Emergency Centre for Transboundary Diseases (FAO ECTAD Viet Nam) facilitates talks and provides opportunities for technical exchange between the animal health leaders and surveillance staff from countries in the region. 

Viet Nam - Cambodia

Marking its 6th time, FAO ECTAD Viet Nam, in collaboration with the Department of Animal Health (DAH) Viet Nam organized the "Viet Nam – Cambodia Cross-border meeting on surveillance and prevention of highly pathogenic avian influenza and other transboundary animal diseases" in Ho Chi Minh City on 24-25 October 2018.The meeting was also considered as the "7th Bilateral Meeting on Cooperation on Animal Health" between DAH and General Directorate of Animal Health and Production (GDAHP) Cambodia. Co-chaired by the Deputy Director General of DAH Viet Nam and GDAHP Cambodia, 54 participants from DAH, GDAHP, Provincial officials, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Viet Nam, FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP), FAO Viet Nam and Cambodia joined the meeting.

During the meeting, participants shared TADs situation updates, surveillance, and key prevention and control activities including Viet Nam's 2016-2020 national program for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD). Technical cooperation such as laboratory exchanges and investigation of the Low Pathogenic Avian Influenza viruses circulating in the region was presented. Following a discussion on the cross-border movement of livestock products, participants agreed on a format of a health certificate for import and export of animals and livestock products. Viet Nam DAH and Cambodia GDAHP will implement the activities as agreed under the matrix of collaborative action. The next cross-border meeting is planned to be organized in 2019 in Cambodia.

Viet Nam - Lao PDR

On 5-6 November 2018, the "15th Cross-border meeting on Transboundary Animal Diseases Control" was organized to invigorate talks between Department of Livestock and Fisheries (DLF), Lao PDR and DAH Viet Nam in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Hosted by the DLF, Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, Lao P.D.R, FAO animal health experts from Viet Nam, Lao PDR, and Regional Asia Pacific Office facilitated discussions between 35 animal health authorities from Viet Nam and Lao PDR.

Participants reviewed previous collaborative activities and shared updates on animal disease situation and livestock movement. Moreover, the strategy for bilateral collaborations was discussed. Authorities from both countries agreed to focus on three main areas for future collaboration: i) Avian influenza surveillance and investigation; ii) Improvement of biosecurity practices in poultry farming; and iii) Facilitation of safer trade and movement of poultry between Lao PDR and Viet Nam. The agreed activities will be implemented from January to June 2019 and the outputs will be reviewed at the next Viet Nam - Lao PDR cross border meeting that is tentatively planned to happen in July 2019 in Da Nang, Viet Nam.

"As years of cross-border meetings mature, we are glad to see that networks are getting stronger and collaborations are becoming more active between countries. Following this positive atmosphere, FAO will continue to support bilateral technical collaboration and provide a forum for countries in the region to vitalize communication and cooperation in the region." said Pawin Padungtod, the Senior Technical Coordinator of FAO ECTAD Viet Nam.