|About 2,000 people, including 100 experts and cardiological surgeons, are taking part in the biennial event.—Photo dangcongsan
DA NANG (VNS) — Viet Nam has seen an alarming increase in cases of hypertension and heart disease following its rapid socio-economic development in recent decades.
At the opening ceremony of the 14th National Congress of Cardiology yesterday, Pham Gia Khai, president of the Viet Nam National Heart Association (VNHA), noted that about 25 per cent of the Vietnamese population aged more than 25 years suffered from hypertension and heart disease.
Khai also said the number of people suffering from cardiopathy and hypertension sharply increased from 11.5 per cent of the population in 1992 to 24.1 per cent in 2008, but the figure kept rising while the number of cardiology hospitals and heart surgeons had yet to match patients' demand.
"In spite of rapid development and achievements in cardiological surgery since the 1960s, Viet Nam has been witness to an overload of cardiovascular patients at hospitals," he added.
About 2,000 people, including 100 experts and cardiological surgeons, are taking part in the biennial event.
The experts and surgeons come from countries including the United States, France, Japan China, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam.
About 1,000 reports and researches on hypertension and heart , as well as up-to-date technology in heart disease and cardiovascular therapeutics, were presented.
"Viet Nam's cardiovascular research and surgery have seen rapid progress since the 1960s, making impossible dreams come true," Khai said.
"The country witnessed the first case of cardiovascular intervention and therapeutics in 1997, and the National Cardiology Hospital has handled 65,000 cases ever since," he added.
"The country did not set up a heart surgery ward in hospitals in the 1960s, but it is now available in nearly all hospitals nationwide. Viet Nam is now a member of the ASEAN Federation of Cardiology and American College of Cardiology, and the association has nearly 3,000 members," he noted.
According to VNHA general secretary Pham Manh Hung, about 20 per cent of the country's population are expected to suffer from cardiovascular diseases and hypertension by 2017 if current trends remain the same.
Hung attributed the increase to rampant feasts and overconsumption of fatty food and alcoholic drinks. The VNHA general secretary added that Viet Nam has been struggling with such challenges as the lack of understanding of basic cardiovascular health and hypertension in communities, deficient funding for successful preventive programmes and a lack of up-to-date facilities for, as well as poor communications on, heart disease and prevention.
The three-day congress also included free heart and hypertension check-ups for Co Tu ethnic minorities in Da Nang, a mass walkathon for a healthy cardiology community and online heart surgery at Da Nang General Hospital.
In 2012, Population Service International (PSI), a leading global health organisation, launched a community awareness programme for stroke and hypertension in the capital city.
A survey of the Ha Noi-based Public Health School also revealed that two-thirds of the Vietnamese population had high blood pressure but were unaware of their condition. — VNS