Ministry urges provincial health official to improve swine flu checks

On a trip to the southern provinces, the Minster of Health, Nguyen Quoc Trieu, visited and inspected the treatment of H1N1 flu at some hospitals in Ho Chi Minh City on July 18.

Swine flu patients mostly age from five to twenty four years old
The Minister started his city trip at two clinics, the Pasteur Institute and Tropical Diseases Hospital.
 
After completing inspection of the clinics, the Minster complimented the two hospitals for their successful efforts to examine, treat and prevent the flu from spreading during the past six weeks’ “battle” against the flu.
 
In a request by the Institute, the minster called on more than 20 provinces in the south to examine and diagnose local residents before sending samples suspected of having swine flu.
 
It is hoped that this action will relieve the amount of work at the institute. 
 
The Minister also agreed to provide VND51 billion (US$2.8 million) to build a bio-safety room at the institute.
 
At a talk with the Minister, Tran Ngoc Huu, who heads the Institute, predicted that there will be more cases of swine flu in Vietnam in the coming future.
 
This is due to the careless actions by some countries in the battle against swine flu spreading, he said.
 
According to Mr. Huu, the flu can remain undetected in the public as those who have previously been infected were not aware they had flu, thereby infecting more people.
 
As previously estimated, most infected patients are from five to 24 years old, he added.
 
Another serious worry comes from spread of the virus in the southeastern province of Dong Nai.
 
About four groups, a total of 32 patients, were found to be infected with the virus at the same time.
 
The patients were suspected to have become infected after spending time together waiting for relatives to return from foreign countries.
 
At the meeting with the minister, Dr Nguyen Tran Chinh, director of the Tropical Diseases Hospital, also asked him to reconsider the decision to choose the hospital as the specialist in swine flu if flu cases increase.
 
Dr Chinh said that his hospital is specialized in the diseases of tetanus, diphtheria and HIV/AIDS and it would be very hard for his hospital to continue treatment for their patients, as they would have to be moved to another hospital.
 
Dr Chinh also recommended the ministry to import new medicines for swine flu treatment fearing that some local patients have resistance to Tamilflu.
 
At present, Vietnam has not reported any swine flu patient resistant to Tamilflu, but there are some patients who need long-term treatment.
 
On the same day, the minster had a meeting with health officials from Thong Nhat and Cho Ray hospitals.
 
The meeting was held to discuss and direct actions to improve the quality of examination and treatment for health insurance holders.

By L.Tue – Translated by Truong Son

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