Ministry asks for diphtheria prevention and treatment preparations
  • |, NLD | September 19, 2023 11:21 AM
The Ministry of Health (MoH) sent directives to health departments nationwide asking for staff and medicine on Monday to be prepared for diphtheria prevention and treatment.

Health officers visit a family with diphtheria patients in Ha Giang Province.

The move came after diphtheria outbreaks in the northern mountainous provinces of Ha Giang and Dien Bien, causing three deaths and dozens of infections.

The ministry sent two inspection teams to the two provinces earlier in the month to monitor and direct diphtheria prevention and control.

The teams comprised experts from various departments within the ministry, the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and the Vinamam National Hospital of Paediatrics.

Their primary responsibilities include collaborating with the two provinces to enhance diphtheria prevention and control measures, monitoring and managing outbreaks, and administering vaccinations to combat the disease.

Additionally, they are tasked with identifying and treating diphtheria patients and conducting educational and awareness campaigns to promote epidemic response practices.

According to the Ha Giang Provincial Health Department, two recently people died of diphtheria in Meo Vac District, in what were the first reported cases of diphtheria in the province in nearly two decades. 37 people have recovered from the disease while 46 others suspected of having the disease were being monitored at local healthcare centres in Yen Minh and Meo Vac districts. Nearly 11,000 local people in Yen Minh and Meo Vac have been given antibiotics.

In Dien Bien Province, six people have tested positive for diphtheria since May including one death.

Diphtheria used to be quite common in most localities in Vietnam before the diphtheria vaccine was included in the expanded vaccination programme. The disease has been controlled now and only a few cases have been recorded due to non-vaccination, usually in remote areas where vaccination rates are low.

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