Health department warns lax authorities

The Department of Health (DOH) has warned all those in charge of curbing the hand-foot-mouth disease of accountability if the disease reoccurs in areas under their jurisdiction.

Although the hand-foot-mouth disease has killed 11 children this year and the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has asked relevant agencies to reduce the fatality toll, many agencies still have a lax attitude towards this serious and infectious disease.

DOH health inspectors paid unscheduled visits to households in district 2 and Binh Tan district of HCMC, where large outbreaks of hand-foot-mouth disease had occurred. Parents of young affected children under the age of five were clueless about ways to prevent the disease. 

Dr. Nguyen Dac Tho said that preventive measures had not been applied in districts while Dr. Truong Huu Khanh, head of the Infection Division of the Children Hospital in the city complained of local administration not providing adequate information to parents to be able to recognize symptoms of the disease.

For instance, Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tuyet with six children, three of them under five, in ward An Lac in district Binh Tan said she had not been told about the disease by medical workers or how to prevent it.

Over 2,000 children suffering from hand-foot-mouth disease have been hospitalized, 64 percent higher than in the same period last year. This year 11 children have died of HFMD while only one died from the disease last year, according to Dr. Le Truong Giang, deputy head of DOH.

By T. Lam - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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