Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has demanded that agencies concerned must ensure enough workforce, medicines and equipment to eliminate the outbreaks of measles as soon as possible.

At a working session with relevant ministries, agencies and Hanoi authorities on April 23, the PM asked the Ministry of Public Health to expand communications campaigns to raise public awareness of the disease and all necessary precautions, especially vaccination. He noted that while new cases have reduced, the number of infected patients is still large. What is even more worrying is that the measles vaccination rate remains under 50 percent in 11 provinces.

According to the Health Minister’s report at the session, a total of 3,569 measles cases were recorded as of April 23 in 61 out of 63 cities and provinces, with 37 percent of the cases in Hanoi.

Children under 10 accounted for 68.3 percent of measles patients, the report said, adding that a majority of patients (86.4 percent) were not vaccinated against the disease, while 9.9 percent of the patients had acquired just one shot of vaccine while at least two doses are required.

The disease has claimed 25 lives so far, but the number of fatalities from measles complications has amounted to 108.

Vietnam is in the stage of curbing measles and expects to eliminate the disease by 2017.-VNA