|Clean water shortages can lead to many infectious diseases. — VNA/VNS Photo Hoàng Nhị|
HÀ NỘI — Infectious diseases with the highest number of patients were those related to clean water and environmental hygiene, said associate professor Nguyễn Thị Liên Hương, director of the Health Environment Management Agency under the Ministry of Health (MOH).
Infectious diseases were a global concern, including in Việt Nam, she said.
In Việt Nam, infectious diseases with more than 100,000 patients are flu, diarrhoea, dengue fever, foot-hand-mouth disease, mumps and chicken pox.
Besides the risk of new infectious diseases including influenza strains A/H1N1 and A/H7N9 and Ebola, other infectious diseases such as dengue fever, measles and foot-hand-mouth disease remain common.
To prevent diseases, experts from the MOH said supervision and early discovery were very important.
Hương called for different sectors, authorities and organisations to join with the health sector to promote education in the field to improve residents’ awareness of keeping hygiene to prevent diseases.
The MOH has targeted making proper hand washing a typical habit and common practice before meals.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said 88 per cent of childhood fatalities were related to weak sanitation and clean water shortages.
It is estimated that 1.1 million children around the world die per year due to diarrhoea and 1.2 million others die due to respiratory diseases. Weak sanitation also led to skin and parasitic diseases, which are the main causes of malnutrition.
Việt Nam has embraced Global Handwashing Day, October 15, since 2008 to enhance society’s awareness of personal hygiene and preventing epidemics. — VNS