|Women practise exercises to improve health condition in central Phu Yen Province. Educational programmes on menopausal health for community and health officials should be expanded in an aim to improve women's quality of life. — Photo baophuyen.com.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Educational programmes on menopausal health for community and health officials should be expanded in an aim to improve women's quality of life, doctors have recommended.
Viet Nam was one of Asia's most rapidly aging populations, thanks to a decline in the death rate and an increase in life span, from 50 years in the 20 century to nearly 74 years now, according to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien.
Speaking at a conference held recently in HCM City, Dr Dang Quang Vinh of Viet Nam National University-HCM City's Faculty of Medicine, said that more attention should be paid to menopausal health so that the quality of life for women would not deteriorate.
The conference was organised by the HCM City Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Association (HOSREM).
Professor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, chairwoman of HOSREM, said the country has more than 10 million women aged 40 and above.
Research conducted by Vietnamese doctors show that the country's average age of menopause is 48 or 49.
As many as 97 per cent of women aged 58 have already undergone menopause.
Symptoms such as hot flashes, sleeplessness, depression and urinary incontinence can all begin three years (called peri-menopause) before menopause, Phuong said.
"It is necessary to receive treatment for symptoms, "she added.
Education programmes among community and health staff on menopause have been not been sufficient, Vinh said.
Standard clinic guidelines on hormone replacement therapy in the country have not been established or issued, he said.
In HCM City, the examination and treatment of menopausal health is done in gynaecology wards at hospitals.
Even large obstetrics hospitals such as Tu Du and Hung Vuong have no ward specialising in menopausal health, he said.
The women in this age group need counselling, but the hospital's wards have too many patients.
With menapause, osteoporosis can begin because of a shortage of estrogen.
Vo Xuan Son of EXSON International Clinic said the rate of women and men diagnosed with osteoporosis at the clinic accounted for 71.4 per cent of 3,893 people aged 50 and above who visited in 2012 and 2013.
The costs for treatment of fractures in Viet Nam is lower than the rest of the world, but patients' incomes are too low, creating a financial burden.
The community lacks awareness of osteoporosis as well as supplementary food and medicine for prevention and treatment. — VNS