The mortality rate of non-communicable diseases in Vietnam is four times higher than that of infectious diseases, accounting for 67.34 percent of deaths from diseases, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ministry’s statistics for 2011 also showed that the morbidity rate from non-communicable diseases was 62.72 percent or 2.4 times higher than that from infectious diseases at 25.89 percent.

Vietnam has given priority to five groups of non-communicable diseases, namely cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiration and mental disorders. They have been in the national target programme on healthcare since 1999.

Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said all countries in the world are facing increasing morbidity rates of non-communicable diseases, people are able to prevent risk factors of the diseases by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Speaking at a recent workshop in Hanoi on the national non-communicable disease prevention and control strategy framework for 2014-2020 with a vision to 2030, Deputy Minister Xuyen affirmed that the healthcare sector has implemented programmes to fight against the diseases and reached initial outcomes.

However, she pointed out shortcomings needed to be solved such as coordination, implementation and expansion of the programmes to grassroots levels.

The draft framework is designed to minimise the avoidable burden of the diseases. It is also intended to increase responsibility, leadership and inter-sectoral cooperation in preventing non-communicable diseases, and reduce risks with the improvement of initial healthcare services.-VNA