Vietnam – Denmark conference discuss chronic diseases prevention hinh anh 1Danish Minister of Health Ellen Trane Norby speaks at the workshop (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – A workshop spotlighting Vietnam – Denmark cooperation on non-communicable disease prevention took place at the Hanoi Medical University on April 10.

Co-organised by the university and Denmark Embassy in Vietnam, the workshop focused on the importance of grassroots health care and awareness-raising regarding non-communicable diseases. It was attended by visiting Danish Minister of Health Ellen Trane Norby.

Reports at the discussion showed an upward trend of chronic diseases and related deaths in Vietnam. According to latest data, for every 10 deaths, seven were due to non-communicable diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes, cancer or lung issues. The country is estimated to have some 12 million people suffering from high blood pressure, nearly 3 million diabetes patients and 2 million with chronic heart and lung diseases, in addition to 120,000 new cancer cases every year. The leading causes were deemed to be smoking, drinking, heavy consumption of fat and little intake of vegetables or fruits and lack of physical exercise.

The Danish health minister said both Vietnam and Denmark are undertaking reform of their medical sector with an aim toward making initial healthcare a major factor in reducing the rate of chronic diseases. The sector is also a direct cooperative area between the two countries, she added.

The official said health care reforms and technology application must be intensified to ensure everyone’s access to care.

The health ministries of Denmark and Vietnam are piloting a new approach to non-communicable diseases in 30 commune-level health stations in four districts of the northern province of Thai Binh, aiming at building primary care capacity at the grassroots level. Selected health workers in these areas are set to start their training on April 11, with learning materials co-developed by both Danish and Vietnamese experts.-VNA