Health ministry orders strengthened prevention, control of infectious diseases

March 24, 2023 - 08:35
Local health departments have been directed to proactively take preventive measures against infectious diseases.
A doctor examines a child patient infected with the dengue virus at the General Hospital of Vĩnh Long Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Lê Thúy Hằng

HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued a document on disease prevention and control in 2023, warning that illnesses such as dengue and hand, foot and mouth disease could be on the rise.

Signed into effect by deputy health minister Nguyễn Thị Liên Hương on Wednesday, the document orders that localities actively prepare and implement plans to prevent infectious outbreaks, especially COVID-19.

According to the ministry, the current global context of infectious diseases remains unpredictable.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 is still a public health emergency with possible new variants, especially when countries are reopening up their borders for trade, tourism and socio-economic development.

Dangerous infectious diseases continue to emerge across the globe, such as Marburg virus disease in Africa and avian influenza A(H5N1) in Cambodia.

Pathogens and virus strains also constantly evolve, potentially reducing the effectiveness of vaccines and causing outbreaks.

The COVID-19 situation in Việt Nam is still under control, however, the risks are still present, alongside other common infectious illnesses such as dengue, said the MoH.

Local health departments have been directed to proactively take preventive measures against infectious diseases, and stay on alert to respond to possible outbreak scenarios.

They must also strengthen medical quarantine, monitoring and supervision at border gates, in communities and health facilities for prompt interventions, minimising serious cases and fatalities.

The COVID-19 vaccination drive will also continue, especially for children aged 12 to below 18 and high-risk groups.

Local departments must also work with relevant stakeholders and MoH units to ensure the supply of medicines, biological products and medical equipment for disease prevention and control.

Provincial and city People’s Committees will coordinate the local department of information and communication, health department and media agencies to communicate about infectious illness and promote vaccination, increasing people’s awareness and responsibility in the matter.

Inspection and supervision work with also be strengthened to address violations, per regulations.

The local People’s Committees must allocate and ensure resources, while also mobilising sectors, departments and organisations in disease prevention and control.

Local health sectors will continue enhancing the capacity of the infectious disease prevention and control system.

They will also work on improving the quality of preventive medicine and grassroots health care, especially in the mountainous, border and island remote areas. — VNS