Singapore (VNA) – A Vietnamese delegation led by Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien attended the Ministerial Conference on Diabetes in Singapore on November 26-27.

The event drew the participation of 300 delegates, including health ministers, senior government officials, academics, and experts from 18 countries and territories.

Speaking at the conference, Tien said Vietnam is facing a huge burden of non-communicable diseases in general and diabetes in particular, adding that diabetes accounts for 4 percent of the country’s total death figures.

The rate of people with diabetes in Vietnam has doubled in 10 years, currently standing at 3 million people. The disease is also among the 10 major causes of disabilities in both males and females over the years, she noted. 

This year, the country launched the Vietnam Health Programme, focusing on 11 prioritised fields to improve people’s well-being, address factors such as nutrition, physical activity, and the prevention of harmful substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and beer.

To enhance the prevention, screening, and treatment of diabetes, Vietnam has paid due attention to technological application in health information provision, as well as work to improve individuals’ behavioural capabilities in management and healthcare, she said.

In particular, the country has built a portal for the national health plan to raise public awareness and bolster guidance for people to assess health risks, discover their diseases, and take care of their health.

Accordingly, Vietnam looks to cooperate with other countries to share information, update new technology, and learn of the best practices in technology application and behavioural science in prevention of non-communicable diseases and diabetes, said the Health Minister.

Participants at the conference also called for more cooperation among countries in preventing diabetes in order to reduce the cost burden on patients and countries’ welfare systems.

According to the World Health Organisation’s statistics, an estimated 8.5 percent of adults in the world, or 422 million people, live with diabetes. –VNA