Research initiative on Avian Influenza in Bangladesh and Vietnam


The aim of the initiative is to enable the formulation of a larger strategic research cum research capacity building project based on thorough needs assessment. Vietnam was one of the first countries (2003) in Asia to be hit by avian influenza (AI) and has been severely affected ever since. Vietnam has extensive practical experience concerning AI and also facilities and equipment donated by international agencies. However, human capacity is limited and only few scientists are available. Recent reports (21.02 2009) confirm outbreaks in 10 provinces as well as this years first human fatalities. Several problems related to e.g. the vaccination strategy need to be addressed (no exit strategy has been formulated). The situation in Bangladesh is different as the virus was only observed as late as 2007. The high human and poultry populations in Bangladesh and the lag-time in response to the first outbreaks have created conducive conditions for the virus to spread and become endemic. There is a strong need for research and research capacity just to be able to overview the situation. The situation requires research and research capicity in areas such as diagnostics, including molecular characterisation and phylogenesis; epidemiology; clinical virology and probably many other fields. The project will assess and document the research needs and the need for research capacity as well as the opportunities and challenges for improved south-south cooperation on research.


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