Vietnam declares hand-foot-mouth epidemic

At a conference held in the Pasteur Institute in Ho Chi Minh City by the Ministry of Health on August 15, Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien declared that the hand-foot-mouth disease has now turned into a full fledged epidemic with over 81 reported deaths.

More than 30,000 children have infected with hand-foot-mounth disease this year, three times higher than last year

The Ministry will now be using urgent measures in every affected province by dispatching relevant personal to undertake the task of preventive action to contain the infection.

The Ministry also plans to ask the Vietnam Insurance Company to cover medical fees for hand-foot-mouth affected patients.

Minister Tien has also ordered the State media to mount an aggressive propaganda campaign on the hand-foot-mouth disease, so as to make more parents aware of the necessary measures and steps to take to prevent the spread of this disease in their children.

The minister has also asked the Vietnam Drug Administration to import essential drugs and maintain stocks to counteract the disease.

32,500 children have been infected this year, three times higher than last year. According to Dr. Tran Ngoc Huu, president of the Pasteur Institute, the disease usually breaks out in periodic cycles and the present time is within that cycle.

Huu blames negligent behavior of local health workers and shortage of essential medicines and vaccines as to the cause of this wide spread infection.

By Q. Chi - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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