The Prime Minister has urged ministries and local authorities nationwide to intensify measures against measles, in a notice issued on April 16.

The disease re-emerged in Vietnam last December, claiming 25 lives, many of them children. It is now reported in 61 out of the country’s 63 provinces and cities.

The notice blamed the high death toll on the insufficient quality and quantity of vaccinations administered.

The Health Ministry has been ordered to improve the standard of treatment for measles patients in order to limit the number of fatalities and prevent further outbreaks. It will also monitor the spread of the disease in Vietnam and neighbouring countries more closely.

The Prime Minister asked the press to update the public with information on the issue and advice to prevent measles. He also requested that the Finance Ministry ensure stable funding for measles prevention and treatment.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles is one of the child killer diseases. It is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family, claiming about 330 deaths every day or 14 deaths every hour.

It pointed out that measles vaccinations resulted in a 78 percent drop in deaths between 2000 and 2012 worldwide.

In 2013, Vietnam recorded 1,048 measles cases, mostly in children under the age of 10 (75.9 percent). Some 2,490 children have been diagnosed with the disease so far this year.

The country is striving to eliminate the disease by 2017.-VNA