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Dong Nai Province's Health Sector and Its Efforts to Prevent Diseases Updated12-06-2014 02:45
Complying with the Prime Minister’s order as well as the Health Minister’s directions on the prevention and control of disease epidemics, hospitals in the province have strictly followed treatment regimens for measles, dengue fever, hand foot and mouth disease (HFMD), to prevent dangerous epidemic diseases from spreading. That is the effort that Dong Nai’s health sector has made in the first 6 months of 2014.

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Vaccination against measles for children under 2 years of age

As reported by the Department of Health, over the first 22 weeks in early 2014, the province recorded more than 1,000 cases of typhus that are suspected of measles, 921 of which were finally diagnosed measles and 139 of which were not measles, with no deaths. The incidence of measles among children between 2 and 10 years of age is nearly 38 percent. Results of surveys show that, statistics, from the first week 1 to the seventh week of  2014, , the province recorded only from 1 to 3 cases of measles each week, but since the 8th week, the number of measles cases increased quickly, 30-50 cases on average each week. In particular, the spike of the epidemic took place in the 17th week with as many as 122 infected cases. Bien Hoa is the region in the province with the highest incidence, 284 infected cases, followed by Trang Bom, 116 infected cases, and Long Thanh, 97 infected cases. Over the last time, the province has made efforts to reduce the incidence by strengthening communications to make people know about the epidemic and take their children to get vaccination. In the VND1,2 billion disease prevention plan, the Department of Health spent nearly VND700 million on the prevention of measles. The fact that the measles vaccination rate in Dong Nai reached 97 percent has been appreciated by the Ministry of Health.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen affirmed: "I must say that the provincial Department of Health has strictly complied with the Prime Minister’s order as well as the directions of the Minister of Health in the work of disease prevention. As for the treatment, the hospitals in the province have properly followed the treatment regimens for measles, dengue fever and hand, foot and mouth disease. I believe that, Dong Nai will soon be able to control these diseases."

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Health Ministry leaders appreciated the disease prevention in the local healthcare system.

The health sector also sent samples for testing. In addition to Dong Nai Children's Hospital, other hospitals in the area continuously updated data from the Children's Hospital 1, Children’s Hospital 2 and Hospital for Tropical Diseases in Ho Chi Minh City. Therefore, 100 percent of cases of measles and typhus that are suspected of measles and 60 measles outbreaks in 10/11 districts have been successfully dealt with.

Cao Trong Nguong, Director of the provincial Center for Preventive Medicine, said,  children from 9 to 24 months of age would, in the coming time, be continued to be mobilized to get vaccination, and the number of children from 2 to 10 years of age would be reviewed to work out plans for additional measles vaccination campaigns as approved by the Ministry of Health. In recent late April, the Department of Health has also requested in written the Department of Education and Training to work with each other to strengthen measles prevention. Accordingly, in addition to efforts made to keep the environment, school things and food clean in schools, supplies and ensure food safety in schools, those students that have not been vaccinated against measles or have never suffered from measles will be listed and their families will be then informed and encouraged to take them to get vaccination.

Over the last week, measles and HMFD in Dong Nai had shown signs of declining – with 1690 HFMD-infected cases, a nearly 25-percent decrease over the same period, and 766 dengue fever infected cases, a more than 1-percent decrease over the same period. Besides, since the beginning of the year, there have been119 chickenpox infected cases and  nearly 1,700 diarrhea infected cases but the outbreaks have been handled according to regulations. As for the treatment, the health sector has required  human resources and medical equipment to be always available to be able to receive and provide first aid to measles-infected patients, avoiding hospital transfer. Besides, he said, it was essential to have a separate area for the examination and treatment, with warning signs, to avoid cross-infection. For severe measles patients with complications, the DOH allows using Gamma - Globulin for treatment.

However, according to Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Nai is still a province with high incidence compared to Ho Chi Minh City and other provinces in the South East region so Dong Nai should not neglect the prevention and its health sector should continue promoting communications and opening regular training courses for health workers and collaborators.

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According to Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, it is vital to separate the emergency department for infectious diseases to avoid cross-infection.

Vice Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long stressed that the health sector is responsible for providing professional guidance so to enable an effective disease prevention, it is essential to have the participation of the people's committees at all levels and the community. He admitted that, Dong Nai had made a really huge effort to have no deaths from measles since then. However, the Vice Minister noted that, in the coming rainy season, dengue fever would be on the increase and take place complicatedly so he suggested Dong Nai should take it into consideration and well-prepared to prevent another epidemic from spreading while the older one has not been eliminated.

Thanh Van (Dieu Linh)​ 

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