Deputy PM warns health ministry about summer disease outbreaks

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has exhorted the Ministry of Health to be vigilant in summer when diseases often break out.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long told him at a meeting that while measles is receding, the incidence of hand-foot-mouth disease and dengue fever is rising.

This year 19,000 cases of hand-foot-mouth, including two deaths, have been reported around the country.
More than 8,000 cases of dengue have been reported, four of them fatal. No vaccines are available for their prevention.

With the rainy season set to begin soon, authorities fear further outbreaks of dengue.

Long said 17,594 measles cases have been reported in 62 provinces and cities, with 138 fatalities, all of them in the north.

Though the disease is showing signs of abating, the health sector remains on guard, he assured.
Dam said localities that do not fulfill vaccination targets would be hauled up and their leaders held accountable.

The ministry should ensure people do not shun vaccinations, he said, referring to the fact that recently many parents have refused to get their children vaccinated under the National Expanded Program of Immunization -- which offers free vaccines to children under six -- following several deaths suspected to be caused by anaphylactic shock.

By Quoc Lap - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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