Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as high-blood pressure, pulmonary ailments, asthma, diabetes and cancer, accounts for two-thirds of the total incidence of diseases and health-related deaths in Vietnam.

The uptrend is expected to increase, heard a workshop on improving communication on preventive health in Hanoi on January 28.

(Photo for illustration)

Vietnam currently has 12.5 million people with high blood pressure, 2.5 million diabetics, and more than 2 million others suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma. About 125,000 new cancer cases are detected every year, said the Ministry of Health’s Preventive Medicine Department.

In 2012, there were 520,000 health-related deaths, including more than 379,000 caused by NCDs, mostly cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and COPD.

This means that out of every 10 health-related deaths, seven were from non-infectious diseases. The conditions driving these diseases were identified as smoking, alcohol abuse, irrational eating habits and a lack of physical activity.

Tran Quoc Bao from the department said NCDs caused serious consequences economically and socially through increased healthcare costs and reduced productivity.

Treating for NCDs costs 40-50 times higher than that for communicable diseases because it requires higher technology, more expensive medicine, prolonged treatment, he noted.

To prevent the diseases more effectively, Bao said it is necessary to formulate a national strategy on NCDs prevention and control.

The health sector also needs to modernise its healthcare facilities so as to provide comprehensive examination and treatment for NCDs, he added.

Source: VNA