Policy dialogue aims to speed up action on tuberculosis in APEC

Scene from a meeting of the APEC Health Working Group (Photo: apec2017.vn) HCM City (VNA) – Health officials from the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) are expected to have a hectic day in Ho Chi Minh City on August 22 with two policy dialogues and one meeting of the Health Working Group (HWG). One policy dialogue will focus on accelerating action on tuberculosis (TB) and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR TB) and the other will deal with promoting healthy aging and non-communicable diseases (NCD) control for a healthy Asia - Pacific region. At the same time, the HWG Meeting will enter the second working day after completing a lot of work on August 21. The Intellectual Property Rights Experts Group, the Investment Experts’ Group, the Emergency Preparedness Working Group, the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Working Group, the Mobility Group and the Electronic Commerce Steering Group-Data Privacy Subgroup will also meet on August 22. Besides, APEC officials will mull over other issues relating to customs procedures, trade and investment, chemicals, standards and conformance, and the services sector. In the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, APEC officials will continue with the Policy Partnership on Food Security Meeting and the Ocean and Fisheries Working Group Meeting. The APEC exhibition on agriculture and advanced agro-production technologies is still underway in the city.-VNA ... [read more]

Policy dialogue aims to speed up action on tuberculosis in APEC

The four-day event has attracted 1,000 domestic and regional scientists and experts. Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Xuyen said TB is growing complex at a high rate of drug-resistant cases. Vietnam ranks 12th out of 22 countries having largest numbers of TB patients in the world. Every year, it has 5,000 new cases of multi drug-resistant tuberculosis but there is a serious shortage of anti-TB workers particularly at district level. All experts and scientists are read to share experience in preventing TB and lung diseases to help Vietnam’s health sector keep pace with regional countries in anti-TB work. As many as 250 scientific reports are focused on issues related to TB, lung cancer, asthma, pneumonia, and tobacco detoxification.... [read more]

The agenda was drafted to encourage the early detection of and response to infectious disease outbreaks before such outbreaks escalate to pandemic levels. Vietnam and Uganda have been selected to run pilot projects under the agenda’s framework. Over 2013–2014, the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) have helped Vietnam’s Ministry of Health improve dangerous disease testing capacity at Hanoi’s National Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology (NIHE) and Ho Chi Minh City’s Pasteur Institute. The USCDC also helped Vietnam establish an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) with responsibility for directing responses to potential epidemics and coordinating with interdisciplinary units and international organisations on matters of public health . The USCDC’s Ugandan pilot project focused on improving testing for cholera, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and dengue fever. The USCDC and the US Department of Defence plan to invest US$40 million in similar projects in 10 other countries. Assuming congressional approval, total investment will rise to US$45 million in 2015. . The countries participating in the Global Health Security Agenda are Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, China , Ethiopia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, India, Indonesia , Italy, Japan , Kazakhstan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, Uganda, the UK, and Vietnam.... [read more]

Some hospitals in Viet Nam are doing an amazing job. One of the hospitals that is doing so well is the country's largest, called Bach Mai General Hospital. Another hospital that is doing well is one that looks after patients with lungs diseases and tuberculosis. It is the Can Tho City Hospital in the Mekong River Delta. HA NOI (VNS)— President Truong Tan Sang awarded the Independence Medal-Third Class for the second time to Bach Mai General Hospital for its contribution to people's healthcare and protection yesterday in Ha Noi. Speaking at a ceremony to mark the hospital's 105th anniversary, President Sang praised the hospital's achievements and great contributions to the country's development over the past century. "Protecting people's health, ensuring human resources for the cause of building and protecting the fatherland, improving the Vietnamese people's height and longevity will be top priorities of the party and the government," Sang said. "Bach Mai Hospital and the health sector should continue to expand the healthcare system and improve the quality of human resources, examination and treatment and the preventive medicine system from the central to local levels to prevent the occurrence of epidemics," Sang said. He said Bach Mai Hospital should continue to speed up research and application of advanced medical technologies, and improve doctors' skills to keep pace with doctors in the region and across the world. Sang also presented the Labour Hero title to Hospital Director, Prof. Nguyen Quoc Anh and former Director of the Viet Nam Heart Institute,…... [read more]

Doctors examine pediatrics patients at the Bach mai General Hospital, Ha Noi. President Truong Tan Sang yesterday awarded the Independence Medal-Third Class for the second time to Bach Mai General Hospital for its contribution to people's healthcare and protection. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc... [read more] The Can Tho Tuberculosis and Lung Diseases Hospital today officially began operations, being the first and most modern one of its kind in the Mekong River Delta. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc... [read more]

Scientists have found a gene, called MCR-1, that allows bacteria to become resistant to a class of antibiotics known as polymyxins, which are used to fight superbugs used in veterinary and human medicine," Piddock said. Photo: AFP/File Medicine's final line of defense against deadly disease has been breached, raising the spectre of a global epidemic, scientists say, after finding bacteria resistant to last-resort antibiotics. The discovery could herald a virtual return to the Dark Ages, with doctors unable to control common germs like E. Coli, rolling back centuries of medical progress. "These are extremely worryingly results," said Liu Jian-Hua, a professor at China's Southern Agricultural University and co-author of a new study. Liu and his colleagues found a gene, called MCR-1, that allows bacteria to become resistant to a class of antibiotics known as polymyxins, which are used to fight superbugs. The gene, which was detected in common but deadly bacteria such as E. Coli and K. Pneumoniae -- the cause of pneumonia and blood diseases -- effectively makes bacteria invincible. Most worryingly of all, the gene is easily spread from one strain to another, said the study, which was published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal, prompting warnings they could have "epidemic potential". Until now, rare cases of resistance occurred only through mutation in individual organisms, severely limiting transmission. The World Health Organization (WHO) has already warned antimicrobial resistance may result in "a return to the pre-antibiotic era," where even small infections -- or cuts -- could prove fatal.…... [read more]

LONDON - Multi drug-resistant tuberculosis remains at crisis levels, with about 480,000 new cases this year, and various forms of the lung disease killed about 1.5 million people in 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Wednesday. In recent years, the emergence of multi drug-resistant TB -- a manmade problem caused by regular TB patients being given the wrong medicines, the wrong doses, or failing to complete their treatment -- has posed an increasing global health threat. About 9 million people contracted tuberculosis during the year and about 3.5 percent of those had a strain that was to some extent drug-resistant -- cases that are much harder to treat and have significantly poorer cure rates, it said. "There are severe epidemics in some regions, particularly in Eastern Europe and Central Asia," the U.N. health agency said in its annual assessment of the global burden of TB, noting that in many places, the treatment success rate is "alarmingly low". Furthermore, extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB), which is even more expensive and difficult to treat than multi drug-resistant (MDR-TB) strains, has now been reported in 100 countries around the world. Medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres TB expert, Grania Brigden, said the "alarming spread of drug-resistant TB from person to person in the former Soviet Union is of critical concern, along with the growth in MDR-TB and XDR-TB cases". "Access to proper treatment is drastically low: only one in five people with multidrug-resistant TB receives treatment; the rest are left to die, increasing…... [read more]

PARIS — About a million children, double the previous estimate, fall ill with tuberculosis every year, said a study yesterday that also gave the first tally of drug-resistant TB among the young. "Many cases of tuberculosis and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis disease are not being detected in children," it said. The team's computer model, based on population data and previous studies, suggests 999,800 people aged under 15 fell sick with TB in 2010. Around 40 per cent of the cases were in Southeast Asia and 28 per cent in Africa. "Our estimate of the total number of new cases of childhood TB is twice that estimated by the WHO (World Health Organisation) in 2011, and three times the number of child TB cases notified globally each year," said Ted Cohen from the Harvard School of Public Health. The research, published in The Lancet, coincides with World TB Day, which places the spotlight on a disease that claims some 1.3 million lives each year. The team estimated that nearly 32,000 children in 2010 had multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB), meaning the strain was impervious to frontline drugs isoniazid and rifampin and was thus harder and costlier to treat. This is the first estimate of MDR-TB among children under 15, who constitute a quarter of the global population. Children are at a higher risk of disease and death from MDR-TB, but react well to medication. They are harder to diagnose, partly because smaller children cannot cough up sputum samples needed for laboratory tests. Reliable…... [read more]

Annual blood donation event held in Hanoi Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan beat a ceremonial drum to officially launch an annual blood donation drive, known as the Red Spring Festival, in Ha Noi yesterday. Addressing the gathering, Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thi Xuyen highlighted the remarkable achievements of the blood donation movement in Viet Nam over the past two decades, with more than 8.2 million units of blood collected and the number of donors increasing every passing year. According to Dr Nguyen Anh Tri, head of the festival's organising board, in addition to easing blood shortages after the Lunar New Year holiday, the event, with its message of "Sharing red blood, giving hope," will help raise public awareness about the need to donate blood. This year's drive is expected to collect between 6,000 and 7,000 units of blood from 10,000 donors. It is being held in almost all localities nationwide until March 15. Fog, rain disrupt normal life in Ha Giang The Northeast monsoon showers have brought the temperatures down in the northern province of Ha Giang during the past few days, said the provincial Hydrometeorology Centre. According to the centre, several border communes in Dong Van, Meo Vac, Xin Man Districts saw both fog and frost with very low temperatures that might go down further to minus 1 degree Celsius. Such harsh weather conditions have reportedly affected the lives of the ethnic people there. Low temperatures of one degree Celsius were recorded yesterday in Lung Cu and Pho Bang…... [read more]

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