Illegal private clinic gives 37 boys genital warts

Update: July, 19/2017 - 09:00
A mother and her son, who have contracted genital warts, at the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology. – Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – In a rare medical occurrence, 37 boys from Hưng Yên Province were found to have contracted genital warts after being treated at a private clinic.

Doctor Lê Hữu Doanh, deputy director of the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology, said that in the past two months the hospital had treated 59 children with genital warts, 37 of them under 15 from Khoái Châu District.

Genital warts, usually found in adults, are caused by human papillomavirus (HPV), one of the most common sexually transmitted viruses. However, HPV can also spread through direct nonsexual contact, although rarely, such as hugging, kissing, sharing toothbrushes, underpants or bathtubs.

Dr Doanh said consultation with patients’ families revealed that all the boys had received treatment at a private clinic for phimosis, a condition in which the foreskin of the penis cannot be pulled back past the glans.

“Unhygienic tools and equipment used in surgical procedures can result in cross infection of HPV from diseased persons to non-diseased ones,” Doanh said, adding that he suspected the phimosis treatment that the boys underwent did not meet hygienic standards.

According to Doanh, treatment of genital warts in children is more difficult than in adults.

“It mainly involves taking medications or applying topical creams, rather than more invasive procedures which require general or local anaesthetic and can pose a danger to the children,” he said.

He added that if the condition is not completely treated, it could result in dangerous complications, including cancer.

Đỗ Thị Thắm from Khoái Châu District said she took her son to a local doctor’s clinic in mid-April after finding abnormality in his genitals.

“The doctor said his condition was serious and needed circumcision. In June, some warts appeared on his penis so I took him back to the doctor,” she said.

After further treatment by the doctor failed to improve her son’s condition, she decided to take him to a hospital in the province and was later advised to transfer him to the National Hospital of Dermatology. The doctors there confirmed that he had contracted genital warts.

Thirty six other boys from Khoái Châu District and two from other districts in Hưng Yên Province were also admitted to the hospital with the same disease.

An initial investigation by Hưng Yên Province’s Department of Health on Monday found that the clinic involved in the incidents was operating without a licence. It is located in Yên Vĩnh Hamlet of Dạ Trạch Commune and belongs to a physician named Hiền.

Hiền is reportedly an official of a medical centre in Mễ Sở Commune, Văn Giang District, and is temporarily working for Văn Giang District’s Medical Centre. He was not present at the time of the inspection.

Nguyễn Trọng Khoa, deputy director of the health ministry’s Medical Service Administration, said the department had asked Hưng Yên’s Department of Health to co-operate with the National Hospital of Dermatology and Venereology to investigate the case and report to the ministry before July 28.

The provincial health department has been asked to take appropriate disciplinary action against responsible individuals if violations are found. – VNS