Healthcare news in brief

The Nasopharyngeal Cancer (NPC) is one of the ten most common cancers in Vietnam, according to the Tumor Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City.

Every year the country reports more that 3,500 fresh cases of NPC and nearly 2,700 people succumb to the disease. Among males, the disease   stands as the fifth most common forms of cancer.

People with NPC complain of a lump in the neck as a first symptom. Other symptoms of NPC include loss of hearing; ringing in the ear; ear infections that keep recurring; nose blockage or stuffiness; nosebleeds; headaches; and facial cramps or numbness.

Because these initial symptoms of the disease are usually mistaken with other diseases, cancer is discovered at a very late stage, leading to a higher death rate.

However, if it can be detected and diagnosed at an early stage, cancer can be cured with new advancements in the medical sector.

In related news, the Ministry of Health said that in the first nine months of the year, domestically made medicines met more than 50 percent of the demand. On an average, a person is spending US$17.4 this year, while it was $27.6 last year. Moreover, there has been an increase in Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)-standardized pharmaceutical factories in the country.

Concerning food safety issues, the Vietnam Food Association under the Ministry of Health, said that it has ordered the Institute of Hygiene and Public Health in HCMC to check the contents of tranquillizer Prozil in fresh pork samples in the markets.

The Institute said it found no tranquillizer Prozil traces in five samples taken from fresh pork in District 8. These tests were made after news reports in some newspapers and social websites stated that slaughterhouses were injecting the tranquillizer in pork meat. The health watchdog said it will continue investigations.

On November 5, the Department of Health in HCMC announced it will conduct supervision of construction projects to improve waste water treatment systems in hospitals. The City People’s Committee also ordered all state medical facilities to have the system installed before December 10 or face penalty.

By T. Lam - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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