A campaign to raise public awareness of plague prevention in Quang Tri province (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The Ministry of Public Heath has launched a programme on rallying efforts of the entire political system and the community for fighting infectious diseases.

Speaking at an interdisciplinary workshop held by the Ministry’s Department of Preventive Health in Hanoi on December 14, Deputy General Director of the department Truong Dinh Bac said Vietnam faces a high risk of new dangerous infectious diseases such as Ebola, MERS-CoV, plague and avian influenza A (H7N9) virus entering the country.

In addition, the country has recorded increasing numbers of new cases of and deaths caused by dengue, hand-foot-mouth disease, malaria, rabies and encephalitis every year.

According to Bac, Vietnam has not identified any cases of avian influenza H5N1 infections in human so far this year, but outbreaks of the bird flu have been spreading in poultry flocks in many localities nationwide. Malaria is also emerging in the central, the Central Highlands and southern regions, with drug - resistant malaria on the rise.

D iseases that cross over from animals to humans, including Ebola and avian influenza, can have massive, rapid and far-reaching consequences on human health, livelihoods, food safety and economic development.

The official said the country is meeting with difficulties in preventing infectious diseases as booming trade activities and travelling are facilitating spread of new diseases to Vietnam. Meanwhile, public awareness of importance of personal hygiene, environmental sanitation, food security and disease prevention remains limited.

The programme is expected to encourage the community to actively participate in environmental sanitation activities, such as regular environmental cleaning campaigns, stopping the trade of sick animal and those of unknown origin .

The Ministry of Education and Training said it will enhance coordination with the health sector to run communication campaigns to raise teachers and students of precautionary measures against infectious diseases.

Disease prevention related-training courses and vaccination will be also promoted in education establishments in the coming time.-VNA