In a weekly Q&A session run by the Government’s portal on March 2, Tien said contagious diseases such as measles and bird flu have struck a number of localities and they are at serious risk of engulfing the nation.
Measles have not only broken out in far-flung areas in the northern highland provinces of Yen Bai, Lao Cai, and Son La, but are becoming increasingly common in localities like Hanoi and HCM City.
Minister Tien said measles is a relatively common disease that is preventable provided children receive two required vaccinations. She explained that children who have yet to receive both shots are more susceptible to contracting the disease.
In the face of the increasing numbers of incidences being reported, the MoH has asked health departments nationwide to ensure all children are promptly vaccinated. It has also released clinical guidelines on diagnosis and treatment, as well as vaccination, aiming to reduce child fatalities.
|Vaccinating free-range ducks against bird flu
Meanwhile, the deadly A/H5N1 avian flu has spread to more than 20 provinces and cities since the beginning of this year. The MoH has intensified communication campaigns to raise public awareness of the danger of the epidemic, and prevention methods.
Local people are warned not to get in contact with or eat sick or dead poultry. Two people who died of bird flu early this year were reported to have eaten sick or dead poultry.
Minister Tien said the health sector has increased staff training and has mobilised high inventories of medicine and equipment to cope with a potential national outbreak.
Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien confirmed the health sector’s hotline has initially proved effective since it was first established two months ago.
Approximately 50% of callers asked for medical guidelines and consultations, and lodged complaints about doctors’ behavior.
The MoH has asked all provincial health departments and hospitals to proved answers to the public’s questions as soon as they receive, hoping to satisfy callers.
Tien said hospital leaders are required to take turns and work around the clock to field queries and complaints from patients and their relatives.
For the first time the MoH has released a Code of Conduct in the health sector, enabling hospital directors to effectively resolve and deal with violations.
The MoH is working closely with military-run telecom group Viettel to establish a mobile switchboard model in the second phase, capable of receiving and handling hundreds of calls at the same time.