Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung on Sept. 6 sent a message to ministries, sectors and localities to strengthen the prevention and control of the avian influenza A/H5N1, hand-foot-mouth disease and dengue fever.

Reports from the Ministry of Health showed that, as of August 23, four cases of influenza A/H5N1 have been recorded in Vietnam , of which two were fatal. The risk of an influenza epidemic is set to peak in the next two months.

So far this year, 80,180 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease have been recorded, of which 41 were fatal, while 43,220 cases of dengue fever have been recorded, 35 of which were fatal.

To prevent the risk of these diseases spreading, Dung asked the chairmen of municipal and provincial people's committees to establish interdisciplinary teams to inspect the prevention and control of epidemics in their localities, especially in residential areas, kindergartens and slaughter houses.

The sanitation and removal of mosquitos should be closely monitored, he said, before adding that provincial and city committees must increase the dissemination of information on the diseases and the methods of prevention via village-based health staff.

Dung has assigned the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to guide local authorities to closely monitor the diseases of poultry and waterfowl to prevent transmission of the A/H5N1 virus to humans.

The Ministry of Education and Training will carry out measures to prevent the spreading of the three diseases at schools and will work with the health sector to assure the health of students.

The Ministry of Information and Communications has been placed in charge of disseminating information of the diseases to high-risk groups, including those living in remote areas and ethnic minorities.

Dung also asked the Ministry of Health to prepare medical equipment, drugs and chemicals for the treatment of patients and the prevention of outbreaks./.