Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — Vaccines against pneumonia, diarrhoea and the HPV virus that causes cervical cancer will be added to the national immunisation programme, with support from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation.
“There is no other way, including the use of antibiotics, that be as effective in reducing morbidity and mortality as vaccines are,” said Nguyễn Ngọc Anh Tuấn, deputy head of HCM City Pasteur Institute’s Clinical Biology Tests Department.
Each year, vaccines help prevent three million deaths and save 750,000 children across the world from permanent disability caused by vaccine-preventable diseases, Tuấn said at a seminar held in HCM City on Wednesday.
Pneumonia caused by the pneumococcus bacteria is the leading cause of death in children, according to Dr Trương Hữu Khanh, head of the HCM City Children No.1 Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Department.
The bacteria often lives in the ear, nose and throat of healthy people and can cause illness in children under five years old, including minor aliments such as sore throat, rhinitis and otitis media, and more serious diseases like pneumonia, meningitis and blood sepsis.
“Vaccination is one of the most efficient and cost-effective solutions to prevent disease,” Khanh said.
Fifty-six per cent of diarrhoea cases in children are due to rotavirus. Because of vomiting and diarrhoea up to 20 times a day, the children can become seriously dehydrated.
“Early use of preventive oral rota vaccine from two months of age will prevent diarrhoea caused by rotavirus, besides regular hand washing, clean water drinking and breastfeeding,” he said.
Lưu Văn Minh, head of the HCM City Oncology Hospital’s Radiation Department, said that HPV was the main cause of cervical cancer, the second most common cancer in woman aged 15-44 in Việt Nam.
In Việt Nam, there are more than 5,000 cases of cervical cancer. Half of the women with the disease die each year.
The seminar on infectious diseases was organised by the Việt Nam Association of Preventive Medicine in collaboration with the representative office of GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd (GSK) in Việt Nam.
City kids to receive vaccine
In a related news, the fourth vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis will be provided to 125,000 children in HCM City aged 18-48 months, according to the Preventive Health Centre.
The administration has instructed district-level health divisions to list the names of local children in this age group who have not yet got the fourth shot.
They will be vaccinated at a ward- or commune-level health centre in September.
The rate of children vaccinated last year was too low, the centre said.
This causes a high risk of a diphtheria breakout like the one that occurred in Bình Phước Province, which announced it in mid-July.
District health staff will visit homes to inform people about the vaccination to ensure a high rate this time.
The Bình Phước Province Preventive Health Centre’s deputy head Nguyễn Văn Sáu said no new infection has been reported since July 20.
As of now the epidemic is under the control, he said.
Six patients have recovered, and only two remain in hospitals in the province and in HCM City, he said.
Three people have died due to the disease.— VNS