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Conference looks at public health sector

Update: November, 14/2013 - 09:34
DA NANG  (VNS) — Non-communicable conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and injuries caused by traffic accidents account for 70 per cent of health problems in Viet Nam.

The rate was revealed by Nguyen Cong Khan, Director of Science, Technology and Training Department under the Ministry of Health at an international public health conference in central Da Nang City yesterday.

"In previous years, infectious diseases were the major problem, but non-communicable conditions have been increasing in modern society," Khan told the attendees, warning that infectious diseases continued to be a threat.

The three-day event, organised by the Epidemiology and Public Health Interventions Network (Tephinet), drew 350 scientists and others working in the public health sector from 16 countries and territories in Southeast Asia and the Asia Pacific region besides Viet Nam.

"Viet Nam has emerged as a hot spot for infectious emergences and trans-boundary diseases that can have a regional and global impact given rapid globalisation," he said.

"The country's coastal and island areas are also vulnerable to transitional epidemics due to climate change and the quick spread of Avian influenza (H5N1), Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), HIV-AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis," he added.

The country's public sector still "plays a key role" in health care, providing 80 per cent of services, according to Khan. He said the government had been working to promote health insurance so that the poor can access treatment at hospitals.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, deputy minister of health Nguyen Thanh Long said he hoped the conference would "boost further co-operative response to public health events as well as disease prevention and control among Tephinet members in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific region."

Tephinet director Dionisio Herrera Guibert said that the event was an "opportunity to share not only experiences and lessons learned by the teaching staff and fellows, but also the impact of public health in their particular countries." — VNS

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