Researchers in the GCRF One Health Poultry Hub team in Vietnam were delighted to introduce their research and impact-related work on avian influenza (‘bird flu’) and antimicrobial resistance to the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer Professor Christine Middlemiss last Friday <27 September 2019> .
Also present at the high-level visit to laboratories at the National Institute of Veterinary Research, Hanoi, a partner in the One Health Poultry Hub, were the British Ambassador to Vietnam Mr Gareth Ward and representatives of the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the UK’s Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.
The One Health Poultry Hub, an international interdisciplinary research programme led by the Royal Veterinary College, London, is addressing the need to meet the rising demand for poultry meat and eggs in developing countries while minimising risk to international public health. It is working in Vietnam, Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.
The Hub’s National Coordinator in Vietnam, Professor Vu Dinh Ton of the Vietnam National University of Agriculture showed the dignitaries around the labs and explained the critical work of the Hub.
Professor Vu Dinh Ton said:
Poultry production in Vietnam is more and more important in term of supplying animal origin protein for people in Vietnam and also for the economy of very many rural households. However, there are some real challenges for the sustainable development of poultry production, including epidemic diseases, product quality and the weak operation of poultry commodity chains. That’s why the One Health Poultry Hub is very important for future food security and safety in Vietnam, and it totally corresponds to the poultry production strategy in Vietnam.
In each country where we are working there are local partners and this will be a huge advantage in term of sharing experiences of poultry production.
According to the Vietnam Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, in the first six months of 2019 avian influenza outbreaks (type A/H5N1 and A/H5N6) occurred in 11 provinces of Vietnam, with more than 23,000 birds having to be destroyed. Results of active surveillance indicated that positive samples of avian influenza virus account for 2% of tested samples.
Professor Christine Middlemiss was recently named chair of the One Health Poultry Hub’s External Advisory Board. She was in Vietnam to visit the Vietnam Department of Animal Health and discuss the export of British meat products, and took the opportunity to find out more about UK-Vietnam research and innovation partnership in the field of veterinary science, including seeing the work of the Hub at first hand.
Professor Middlemiss said:
The UK’s veterinary and scientific expertise extends far beyond our borders and I was pleased to see the positive impact UK aid funding is having in helping to tackle global threats, such as antimicrobial resistance, and animal diseases including avian influenza.
I would like to thank colleagues at the GCRF One Health Poultry Hub for taking the time to demonstrate their work and show me their facilities in Hanoi. This Hub highlights once again the importance of international partnerships in the field of animal health and the UK will continue to play a key role in supporting and strengthening these relationships.
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The GCRF One Health Poultry Hub launched in January 2019. It is one of 12 UKRI GCRF interdisciplinary research Hubs launched in 2019, each applying transformative research approaches to address intractable development challenges which have proved resistant to change. Led by the Royal Veterinary College (RVC), London, it is working in Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Vietnam. Find out more at onehealthpoultry.org
- The GCRF One Health Poultry Hub is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), which is a key component in delivering the UK AID strategy and puts UK-led research at the heart of efforts to tackle the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The GCRF is a £1.5 billion fund which forms part of the UK Government’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment and is overseen by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It is delivered through nine delivery partners, including UKRI. Find out more at https://www.ukri.org/research/global-challenges-research-fund/