HA NOI (VNS)— Viet Nam will step up diabetes screening and establish specialty wards at provincial hospitals to ensure timely diagnosis and treatment, experts said at a conference in Ha Noi on Tuesday.
These are two major tasks outlined in the National Strategy on Diabetes Prevention that seeks early detection and treatment of people with prediabetes and diabetes.
The strategy aims at introducing diabetes screening at 60 per cent of commune-level hospitals and have 80 per cent of hospitals at the provincial level set up wards specialising in diabetes treatment.
At the conference that reviewed last year's diabetes prevention activities, Dr Nguyen Vinh Quang, deputy head of the National Hospital of Endocrinology, said that the rate of people with diabetes not detected was higher in Viet Nam than other countries at 64 per cent.
A hospital survey carried out over the last 10 years found that most of the undetected diabetes patients were in the southwestern region of the country.
The national strategy should aim to enhance screening in the community in order to prevent future complications, Quang said.
The survey also showed that the rate of people with diabetes in the country in last ten years increased from 2.7 per cent to nearly six per cent.
This is an alarming development, Quang said.
The rate of patients with diabetes suffering impaired glucose tolerance in Viet Nam increased from 7.7 per cent in 2002 to 12.8 per cent in 2012.
Quang's hospital has been admitting significantly larger numbers of diabetes patients in recent years, he said.
Reduced physical activity and nutritional imbalance in meals like too much protein and lipids and too little vegetables are main causes for the increase, he said.
He also said that knowledge and awareness of diabetes among the general public was still low, leading to late detection of the disease, serious complications and even death.
Diabetes can cause blindness and kidney failure in the final phase, Quang said.
The survey found that more than 75 per cent of diabetes patients had very little knowledge of the disease.
People above 45 years old face a higher risk of having Type 2 diabetes than those younger. Those with high blood pressure are three times more likely to contract Type 2 diabetes, it is said. —VNS