9 May 2017:
Non-infectious diseases claim the lives of about 400,000 Vietnamese people each year, said Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long at a conference seeking to prevent and control these diseases in the southern region in Ho Chi Minh City on May 8.
Although the Health Ministry has exerted efforts to control such non-communicable diseases as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and high blood pressure, the number of suffers are rising at an alarming level, Long stated.
He continued by revealing that 70 percent of deaths each year are caused by non-communicable diseases, of whom 40 percent are under 70 years old.
He attributed the fact to the unhealthy lifestyle of many Vietnamese, adding that there are currently 49 percent of males smoking cigarettes, and 77 percent of the population consuming alcohol.
The Vietnamese people also use salt two times higher than the level recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), he added.
WHO Chief Representative in Vietnam Lokky Wai stated that non-infectious diseases are putting a burden on the world’s economy, predicting a loss of 47 trillion USD in the next 20 years.
In Vietnam, tobacco-related diseases cause a loss of around 1 billion USD each year, he said.
He suggested the country well control these diseases in order to reduce treatment costs, hospital overloads, and economic burden, while stressing the need to make changes in policies and management measures.
The ministry has set a target of decreasing the rate of deaths caused by non-infectious diseases to 20 percent by 2025.
It also aimed to reduce 30 percent of smokers, 10 percent of alcohol users, while cutting down the amount of salt used by 30 percent, controlling the rate of obesity under 15 percent and the rate of high blood pressure patients under 30 percent.
To that end, the ministry carried out several measures, including the making of the law on alcohol-related harms, the law on tobacco-related harms, and the building of a plan to implement the national strategy on nutrition.
It also bettered the provision of preventive measures and treatment services at hospital from the central to communal and village levels.