|A doctor informs a pre-school teacher on how to prevent the spread of contagious diseases at a kindergarten in My Phuoc Township in southern Binh Duong Province. – VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc
HA NOI (VNS) — Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Tuesday urged ministries and localities to strengthen measures to prevent and control the spread of hand, foot and mouth disease and dengue fever.
About 17,410 hand, foot and mouth cases and two related deaths have been reported since the beginning of this year. Around 83.5 per cent of the cases have been reported from southern Viet Nam.
About 7,931 dengue cases have been detected and four related deaths have been reported in the last four months.
The Prime Minister directed the Ministry of Health to ensure the treatment of the patients to minimise fatalities, particularly in localities with high-risk areas, including HCM City, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Kon Tum and Ca Mau.
In its latest move, the Health Ministry yesterday announced it had set up eight teams to monitor disease control activities in 16 localities nationwide, including Tay Ninh, Binh Duong, Ha Noi, HCM City and Binh Phuoc.
The PM asked the ministry to coordinate with the authorities in the cities and provinces to monitor the implementation of disease prevention measures.
He also asked the authorities to monitor the status of the diseases in the neighbouring countries.
The PM requested the ministries of health and information and communications to coordinate in informing the public of their progress.
The leaders of the People's Committees of localities have been directed to monitor the local healthcare departments and other authorised agencies, to establish the best conditions for the effective treatment of patients and prevent the spread of the diseases.
The Ministry of Education and Training has been urged to launch activities to control the diseases in schools, especially kindergartens, by cooperating with the local healthcare departments and conducting the cleaning of educational facilities.
The Ministry of Finance has also been asked to ensure enough funding for disease control measures.
Director of Preventive Medicine Department under Health Ministry Tran Dac Phu said that the disease was contagious and there was no vaccine against it so far.
He stated that improvement in personal and environmental hygiene was necessary. "Without drastic preventive measures, the disease could spread in the future," he said.
Phu said that there was enough stock of the chicken-pox vaccine in response to the public concern about possible shortages. The demand for the chicken-pox vaccine had increased sharply, causing shortages, since the beginning of this year, he said.
About 16,380 chicken-pox cases have been reported from across the country since the beginning of this year, more than double year over year.
The Health Ministry said that about 30,000 to 40,000 chicken-pox cases are reported in Viet Nam each year.
A one-month disinfection campaign will begin on Saturday in HCM City to prevent the spread of contagious diseases like measles and hand, foot and mouth disease, the city's Department of Health's Medical Affair Division has said.
At a meeting held yesterday in the city, Le Minh Hung, the division's deputy head, said the number of cases of hand, foot and mouth disease had increased since February when it stood at nearly 300.
That figure increased to nearly 600 in March and to 700 in April, according to the city's Preventive Medicine Centre.
For the first four months of the year, there were 2,944 cases of hand, foot, and mouth disease in the city, an increase of 27.6 per cent compared to the same period last year.
The districts of 8, Binh Tan, Binh Chanh, Cu Chi, 11 and Hoc Mon had the highest number of cases.
The centre said it would tighten oversight of city districts' implementation of methods to prevent the spread of such diseases.
The number of measles cases has increased monthly since January, authorities said.
In April, 645 people believed to have contracted measles were brought to hospitals, compared to 597 in March.
In the nine weeks after the city's launch of its measles vaccination campaign, at least 65,705 children aged nine to three years have received shots.
These children included those who had never received shots or those who had had only one shot. Two shots are necessary for the vaccine to be effective.
Under the Ministry of Health's requirements, the city this month will begin a measles vaccine campaign for children aged three to 10. — VNS