|Washing hands regularly can help prevent virus-based diseases, which have become more prevalent worldwide, a seminar heard. — Photo dantri
HCM CITY (VNS) — Washing hands regularly can help prevent virus-based diseases, which have become more prevalent worldwide, a seminar heard.
"Prevention of virus-based diseases is a topic concerning the health industry, whole society, community, family and individual," said Associate Professor and Dr Tran Dac Phu, head of the Ministry of Health's Preventive Medicine Department.
Phu spoke during a seminar held in HCM City yesterday on preventive measures to adapt to new changes in viruses worldwide.
"According to a World Health Organisation report in 2013, virus-based diarrhea killed 2.2 million people worldwide, accounting for 4 per cent of total fatalities," Claire McDonald from the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH) said at the seminar.
Nguyen Dac Khoa, an expert from the department, said that foot and mouth, flu, trachoma and diarrhea were common in Viet Nam.
"During May and August from 2010 to 2014, Viet Nam had 400,000 flu patients and 250,000 victims of diarrhea," he said.
Viruses can spread more easily in Viet Nam because of the tropical weather, poor environmental hygiene, limited individual hygiene, lack of effective specific remedies and preventive vaccines.
These factors can worsen illnesses, especially respiratory, digestive and infectious diseases.
He suggested that everyone perform a simple activity: effective handwashing with soap regularly every day, to prevent the spread of viruses.
"Handwashing with soap would eliminate the situation of 80 per cent of viruses causing disease through unhygienic hands," he said.
A report from the World Bank showed that an investment of US$3.35 in washing hands with soap can bring a benefit equal to $11 to upgrade toilets and $223 to link water supplies to households. — VNS