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Non-infectious diseases kill 400,000 Vietnamese per year

Update: May, 09/2017 - 08:00
Patients undergo medical examinations at the Outpatient Department of the HCM City Oncology Hospital. The department receives some 1,500 patients per day. — VNA/VNS Photo Dương Ngọc
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY – Infectious diseases kill about 300 people per year, whereas non-infectious infectious diseases kill about 400,000 ones, said Deputy Minister of Health Nguyễn Thanh Long.

He was speaking during a conference to discuss the prevention and control of non-infectious diseases held in HCM City yesterday.

Despite the Ministry of Health’s efforts in controlling non-infectious diseases, Long said, the incidence of such diseases in Việt Nam had reached alarming levels.

As many as 70 per cent of the fatalities every year is caused by non-infectious diseases, of whom 40 per cent are under 70 years old.

Non-infectious diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, mental diseases and cancer not only affected the longevity, but also the quality of lives of the citizens, he said.

“If the World Health Organisation (WHO) considers non-infectious diseases as a red tide, in Việt Nam it is a greater red tide, because the prevention efforts are not up to the mark, whereas the treatment for such diseases is not conducted according to the community requirements,” he said.

Deputy Minister Long said the reasons for this problem were that residents did not have awareness on prevention of such diseases. As many as 49 per cent of the men smoke and 77 per cent of the total population drink alcohol, while 11 per cent of them drink at an alarming level.

Vietnamese people also use double the amount of salt recommended by the WHO.

Dr Lokky Wai, WHO Representative to Việt Nam, said that non-infectious diseases had caused great economic burden.

It is estimated that in the next 20 years, the world will lose US$47 trillion due to the occurrence of non-infectious diseases.

In Việt Nam, diseases related to smoking caused losses of about US$1 billion per year.

In other developing countries, the rate of cardiovascular diseases and stroke have decreased, as they have managed to control diabetes and blood pressure. In Việt Nam, cardiovascular diseases and stroke were the chief killers, he said.

Dr Lokky Wai recommended that Việt Nam should control non-infectious diseases better to reduce expenses on treatment, and prevent hospital overloading and economic burden on the citizens.

Policies and management changes will be needed for this, he said.

The Ministry of Health has set up a strategy to ensure that by 2025 the fatalities caused by non-infectious diseases are brought down to 20 per cent. The proportion of people smoking will have to be reduced by 30 per cent and those drinking alcohol by 10 per cent, while the salt intake among people should be reduced by 30 per cent.

To reach the targets, the ministry has set up laws concerning alcohol and beer consumption, a law on preventing cigarette smoking and a plan to implement the national strategy on nutrition. The ministry also completed the system of supervising, managing and treating non-infectious diseases from the central level to grassroots level. – VNS

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