An estimated 5.4 percent of adults in Vietnam suffer from diabetes yet 64 percent of these go undetected, an alarming rate for a 90-million-strong population like Vietnam, said Director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Medical Examination and Treatment Management Luong Ngoc Khue.

Around 9.9 percent of the population aged 60 and above are diabetic, Khue noted at a workshop held in Hanoi on March 28, adding that the increasing number of diabetics mandates the health sector provide improved prevention and diagnosis to reduce treatment expenses for patients.

He continued to say that the grassroots healthcare network is critical to prevent and diagnose diabetes early.

Vietnam currently boasts 645 district hospitals, 30,000 private clinics, 80 family doctor clinics and 10,500 medical stations, all of which need to offer comprehensive care and management of diabetes in the community, Khue added.

Thai Hong Quang, Chairman of the Vietnam Association of Diabetics and Endocrinology, said the mortality rate from diabetes in Vietnam is increasing faster than the global average, attributable to the fact that 70 percent of the population remains unaware of the risk factors of the disease and prevention measures.-VNA