The Ministry yesterday organized a working session chaired by acting Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long with health authorities in the region and the central provinces of Quang Nam and Quang Ngai upon diphtheria prevention.
Four central highlands provinces of Dak Nong, Gia Lai, Dak Lak and Kon Tum have reported 66 cases of diphtheria including three deaths.
Test results have shown that the number of healthy individuals carrying diphtheria bacteria is high; therefore, they possibly transmit the disease. Around 90 percent of people from ethnic minority groups have diphtheria bacteria even people aged over 60.
In regard to vaccination, most patients can not remember whether they have vaccinated or not.
Soon after being informed of the first case of diphtheria, the Ministry directed the Institute for Hygiene and Epidemiology in the region to set up mobile medical teams to arrive at areas with infection cases to help local health authority. Additionally, the Ministry sent its team to the region to support diphtheria prevention task.
Director of the Department of Health in Gia Lai Province Mai Xuan Hai proposed that Ministry to provide serum against toxics to treat the disease and spend more on medical facilities of the Center for disease Control in the province.
Acting Minister Thanh Long said that it is significant time to implement measures against diphtheria. The Ministry will launch a mass immunization program in four provinces including Dak Lak, Gia Lai, Kon Tum and Dak Nong and ten districts in Quang Ngai, Quang Nam, and Lam Dong. All residents aged from two month old will be injected vaccine against diphtheria.
Mr. Long suggested strict isolation and early detection and preventive treatment for all residents in areas where have cases of diphtheria.
Concerning treatment, the Ministry proposed Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi to support health centers in the region. Moreover, Bach Mai Hospital will purchase serum to supply for local medical facilities in the region.
Last but not least, the health sector will trace back those who had close contact with ill people like Coronavirus prevention. The Ministry will supply facemasks and protective clothes to local medical workers.
On the same day, the Ministry launched a large-scale vaccination campaign in Gia Lai Province.