Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has called on relevant authorities to closely coordinate with each other in the fight against measles and bird flu that are plaguing localities nationwide.

The official made the order while chairing a teleconference held by the Health Ministry in Hanoi on February 23, during which he called on the Ministries of Health, and Agriculture and Rural Development to put concrete prevention guidelines into place.

Highlighting information work, Deputy PM Dam asked State agencies at all levels to promptly provide information to the media in a full and accurate manner.

Health experts have attributed the ongoing outbreak of measles to the low rate of vaccinated children in previous years and Dam suggested that the health sector reduce risks in vaccination and raise public awareness of its effectiveness.

About 200,000 children will be vaccinated against measles in the time ahead, the conference heard.

Regarding bird flu, the official urged the ministries to contain the spread of A/H7N9 avian influenza with strong policies, although no cases of this virus have been reported in Vietnam so far.

According to the Health Ministry, there is a high risk that the new strain of avian influenza could enter Vietnam via the border line as the disease is troubling neighbouring China.

The number of A/H5N1 human cases will rise in the coming time, the ministry said, adding the virus killed two people in the southern provinces of Binh Phuoc and Dong Thap in the first two months of this year.

A total of 126 cases have been reported in Vietnam since 2003 when the first case of A/H5N1 was recorded, including 64 deaths in 41 cities and provinces.-VNA