Which Vietnam AI clues to use?
International health authorities are asking whether
Vietnam's success in fighting bird flu can be replicated in other countries
where the virus is a problem.
Vietnam was one of the countries hit earliest and hardest by bird
, but it has also controlled the virus more successfully than other
With 93 infections, Vietnam has the highest number of confirmed human cases
to date, but the country has reported no new human cases since last November,
and only a few fowl infections this year.
The difficulty in sharing Vietnam's success with other countries comes when
trying to identify which of its intervention measures actually made a
difference, as many steps were taken, sometimes concurrently.
Dr Richard Brown, a World
epidemiologist based in Hanoi, said "It is actually
difficult to know exactly what [the absence of human cases] is due to, because
there were a number of different interventions applied."
After all, Vietnam has culled infected flocks; instituted mandatory poultry
vaccination; banned poultry rearing and live-market sales in urban areas;
restricted commercial raising of ducks and quail; imposed strict controls on
poultry transport within Vietnam and agreed to examine illegal cross-border
The country also launched an aggressive public education campaign in the
media and through outreaches by powerful internal groups such as the Women's
and Farmers' Union. The country also compensated farmers for birds
that had to be killedâ€”initially at 10% of the birds' market value, and now at
â€œWho knows what impact any of these interventions had?â€ he said.
Outside the country, experts presume the engine of flu control to be the
pervasive influence of Vietnamese-style socialism, but within Vietnam, workers
in avian-flu control say the country's success depends as much on the
population's support as it does on political coercion.
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