USAID Helps Vietnam Improve its COVID-19 Laboratory Testing Capacity

Friday, March 13, 2020

Evidence suggests that an intermediary host animal played a role in the first human-infected cases of COVID-19. Since 2005, USAID has been working with Vietnam’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to build preparedness and response capacities in confronting animal health emergencies including the capacity to detect coronavirus in wildlife (e.g. bats) and livestock (e.g. pigs and chickens) at MARD Department of Animal Health (DAH) laboratories. On February 27-28, USAID and DAH, in collaboration with the UN-FAO Vietnam Emergency Center for Transboundary Animal Diseases, organized a laboratory training and provided laboratory reagents to diagnose SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) to test animals and if needed, humans. Laboratory staff (14 male, 6 female) from the National Center for Veterinary Diagnosis and all seven Regional Animal Health Offices participated in the training. These laboratories were identified by the Government of Vietnam to have the ability to test COVID-19 in humans if the number of cases increased substantially.

So What? Developing animal health laboratory diagnostic capacity contributes to WHO’s COVID-19 strategic preparedness and response plan and to Vietnam’s capacity to identify and control the COVID-19 epidemic.   

Last updated: May 22, 2020

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