Domestic, global focus needed to address public health issues hinh anh 1A child gets vaccinated at a centre in HCM City (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNA) - A combination of various public health and preventive medicine specialties should be paid attention to at the domestic and international levels to protect people’s health amid emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases globally, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Truong Son told a recent conference at the Pasteur Institute in HCM City.

Problems in one country could affect other countries easier than in the past since pathogens and vectors now move further and faster than ever before through the global transportation network, he pointed out.

The incidence of non-communicable diseases too has increased, including in Vietnam where they cause 70 percent of deaths, he said.

“So the health sector in the country has expanded co-operation with other countries and adopted global scientific advances for the prevention and treatment of diseases.”

The Government has invested in developing preventive medicine facilities and human resources for early prevention of diseases, he added.

Phan Trong Lan, head of the Pasteur Institute, said social media poses a challenge to public health, explaining, for instance, that many websites advocating against vaccines appear first when searching on Google.

Of 100 websites on vaccination, 43 per cent post contents against vaccines, he lamented.

Research has found that if parents spend five or 10 minutes reading information against vaccines, they do not get their children vaccinated.

It is very important to ensure the websites of the World Health Organization and countries’ health departments appear on top in online searches, he said.

According to the institute, immunisation is not only essential for children, but also beneficial to adults and pregnant women, patients with primary or secondary immunosuppression, those with chronic diseases, and many others.

Lan said more and more inaccurate information about health is posted on the internet, posing a major challenge to the health sector.

The conference saw experts from disease control and prevention institutes and centres around the country table a number of studies on preventive medicine.

Son said the conference is a platform for scientists and policymakers to share experiences and skills in public health.

He instructed the Pasteur Institute, which is designated by the Ministry of Health to address public health problems basing on evidence, to invest more in its facilities and testing equipment./.