“There is no other way, including the use of antibiotics, that be as effective in reducing morbidity and mortality as vaccines are,” said Nguyen Ngoc Anh Tuan, 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, Tuan said at a seminar held in HCM City on August 10.
Pneumonia caused by the pneumococcus bacteria is the leading cause of death in children, according to Dr Truong Huu 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 percent 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.
Luu Van 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 Vietnam.
In Vietnam, 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 Vietnam Association of Preventive Medicine in collaboration with the representative office of GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd (GSK) in Vietnam.