|Hundreds of people with psoriasis and their supporters participated in the jogging event held at Thong Nhat Park, Le Duan Street, Ha Noi, to call for taking action and to raise funds for psoriasis patients. — Photo courtesy of Danish Embassy
HA NOI (VNS) — There are an estimated more than one million people suffering from psoriasis in Viet Nam, and yet, awareness of the disease remains low and patients do not receive proper treatment.
This information was released yesterday morning at a jogging event held at Thong Nhat Park, Le Duan Street, Ha Noi, to observe World Psoriasis Day (October 29).
Hundreds of people with psoriasis and their supporters participated in the event, running along the edge of Bay Mau Lake for 2.5km in Thong Nhat Park to call for taking action and to raise funds for psoriasis patients.
World Psoriasis Day is an annual global event specially organised with the aim of giving voice to more than 125 million patients across the world and raising awareness in the community, as well as providing patients with better healthcare.
The jogging event was co-organised by the Embassy of Denmark, the Vietnamese Society of Dermatology and Venereology, Việt Nam Psoriasis Patients and National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, with sponsorship by LEO Pharma Viet Nam.
This was the first time that an outdoor event was held in Viet Nam in reply to the WHO Psoriasis Resolution (approved in May 2014), calling for action against psoriasis, advocacy efforts to raise awareness about the disease and fighting the stigma suffered by those with psoriasis.
In the opening remarks, Danish Ambassador Charlotte Laursen said too many psoriasis patients suffered needlessly due to incorrect or delayed diagnosis, inadequate treatment and insufficient access to care.
"More than anything, they sometimes encounter public rejection because of the misunderstandings surrounding the disease," Laursen said, adding that the theme on World Psoriasis Day 2015 was "hope – action – change".
"I do hope this meaningful event will be a good start for many other supporting events of follow," Laursen said.
Chairman of the Vietnamese Society of Dermatology and Venereology Tran Hau Khang said psoriasis was a non-communicable disease, and that everyone should help psoriasis patients who suffer social and work-related stigma and discrimination.
Tran Hong Truong, a representative of Viet Nam Psoriasis Patients, said anyone could suffer from psoriasis, which often brought psychological problems and an economic burden for the patients.
"Many psoriasis patients lose their jobs and family, and even don't have access to effective treatment methods," Truong said.
Truong said many effective psoriasis medicines were not included in health insurance, and so many patients could not afford the expensive drugs.
Vietnamese psoriasis patients hoped that the Vietnamese government and other concerned authorities would pursue multilateral efforts to provide better access to treatment and healthcare education towards fighting psoriasis, Truong said. — VNS