Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation on September 12 held a conference to discuss the relation between non-communicable diseases (NCD) and sustainable development of Vietnam, which drew 150 Vietnamese and foreign delegates.
According to Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, Vietnam is facing a growing burden of fatalities from NCDs, primarily cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases, which accounted for 73 percent of the total deaths.
Meanwhile, NCDs are also the reason behind 40 percent of deaths among under-70-year-old people, he added, attributing the fact to the unhealthy lifestyle of the majority of Vietnamese people.
The latest survey on NCD risk factors by the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine Department on nearly 3,800 people aged between 18 and 69 years in Vietnam in 2015 revealed that 43.8 percent of the country’s adult population consume alcohol.
More than 77 percent of adult males and 11 percent of women said that they had consumed at least six units of alcohol in the previous 30 days. More than 44 percent of men and 1.2 percent of women said that they had engaged in heavy episodic drinking.
The survey found that the general smoking rate among Vietnamese aged 15 years and above was 22.5 percent. The percentage of males who currently smoke tobacco was very high at 45.3 percent, while female smoking was at 1.1 percent.
Overweight and obesity rate was 15.6 percent in Vietnam. Vietnamese on average consumed 9.4 grams of salt daily, nearly double the WHO recommendation level of below 5 grams of salt daily, the survey said.
It added that nearly one third, or 28.1 percent, of Vietnamese people did not participate in physical exercise. As a result, nearly 19 percent of Vietnamese people had high blood pressure problems. The rate was higher in males at 23.1 percent and 14.9 percent in females.
Long pointed to inadequate investment in the control of NCD in Vietnam, proposing that the country should strengthen cooperation among ministries and sectors, while increasing preventive services and forming health promotion fund to provide sustainable resources for NCD control and prevention.
Speaking at the event, UN Resident Coordinator in Vietnam Pratiba Mehta said that while Vietnam has gained great achievements in fulfilling Millennium Development Goals, especially in lengthening people’s longevity,
the country is facing challenges in NCD, which requires the country to make inter-sectoral efforts as well as measures to control and supervise the diseases.-VNA
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