Asia-Pacific ministers gather in Vietnam’s central Da Nang city today to discuss ways to prevent bird flu pandemics in the region.
Besides 30 agriculture and health ministers from the 21 member nations of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, officials from the APEC Secretariat and international organisations including WHO will also attend the meeting.
On the agenda will be adopting common policies to control bird flu in the region, and outlining an APEC action plan to prevent the epidemic among both poultry and humans.
Vietnam has been praised for its efforts and success in tackling bird flu since the H5N1 virus struck poultry and people in late 2003.
Vietnam was hit hardest with 42 deaths out of 93 human cases reported. As a result of an aggressive controlling strategy the last five months no new outbreaks have been reported.
Over 50 million ducks, chickens, and other birds have been culled, live poultry markets have been shut down, and mass vaccination campaigns for poultry were launched.