[health-vn] Health ministry reinforces inspection as cholera outbreak lingers
vern.weitzel at gmail.com
Sat May 23 03:24:25 EST 2009
Last Updated: Thursday, May 21, 2009 12:16:30 Vietnam (GMT+07)
Health ministry reinforces inspection as cholera outbreak lingers
Doctors examine patients with symptoms of acute diarrhea in the northern
province of Bac Ninh. The Ministry of Health Wednesday set up five inspection
teams to take preventive measures and fight against the cholera outbreak in
northern and north-central provinces that has spread to 16 cities and provinces.
The latest case recorded Wednesday was of Vu Duy Sam, a 41-year-old fisherman of
Nghe An Province’s Dien Chau District, who tested positive for cholera at the
provincial Center for Preventive Health.
He is reported to have eaten rice with fish and pickles before suffering acute
diarrhea and being admitted to the district hospital.
Earlier Wednesday, Nguyen Huy Nga, head of the Bureau for Preventive Health,
confirmed cholera cases in Ha Tinh and Yen Bai provinces. So far, 16 cities and
provinces in northern and north-central regions have recorded patients with the
Health officials also found cholera bacteria in a family well of a cholera
patient in Hai Duong Province, he said.
He said the bacteria were the same strain that caused previous outbreaks but had
Since the first case of cholera was found in mid-April in Hanoi, a total of 56
cases have been reported in the two regions, according to the National Institute
of Hygiene and Epidemiology.
Deputy Minister of Health Trinh Quang Huan on Wednesday told Vietnam News Agency
that cholera outbreaks were caused by low awareness of the disease among residents.
Hanoi and Hai Phong, which have faced cholera outbreaks recently, have seen a
major migration of laborers from other provinces, a large number of whom live in
This has caused outbreaks of acute diarrhea [including cholera cases], he said.
Huan noted that the National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology had warned
about cholera bacteria in raw vegetables, open water bodies and in digestive
systems of dogs. He blamed the unhygiene practice among many farmers who use
human excrement as fertilizer for the outbreak.
Awareness of hygiene as well as preventive measures against acute diarrhea have
been insufficient, he said, adding that the use of human excrement as fertilizer
would easily facilitate the spread of cholera bacteria.
Acute diarrhea caused by cholera bacteria have developed in a complicated way
and the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned of the disease in many
African and Asian countries in recent years, he said.
Vietnam has strongly integrated with the world and the movement of people has
also created conditions for the spread of infectious diseases, including
cholera, he added.
The Ministry of Health has instructed leaders of all cities and provinces to
enforce preventive measures against cholera, which could easily spread in the
“It is the heavy responsibility of the healthcare system to tackle infectious
diseases,” Huan said.
The government has instructed the entire healthcare system to enforce preventive
measures against cholera as well as other diseases including influenza A (H1N1)
and dengue fever.
Besides the five inspection teams, the Ministry of Health has also set up three
others, comprising officials from health departments and other agencies to
inspect localities highly prone to cholera outbreaks.
Steering committees to tackle the epidemic have also been formed at provincial,
district and communal levels. They have been asked to increase food hygiene and
Huan also confirmed there has thus far been no case of cholera caused by
However, he said there may be more cholera patients in other provinces and
called for greater hygiene awareness and practice among residents.
Source: TN, VNA
CITIES AND PROVINCES WITH CHOLERA PATIENTS
The cities of Hanoi and Hai Phong; and the provinces of Bac Ninh, Thanh Hoa, Nam
Dinh, Hai Duong, Quang Ninh, Ninh Binh, Ha Nam, Hoa Binh, Thai Binh, Hung Yen,
Vinh Phuc, Nghe An, Ha Tinh and Yen Bai.
More information about the health-vn