Ha Noi prepares for disease prevention during Lunar New Year

VIETNAM- The Hanoi health department has asked the city hospitals and medical units to focus on preventing epidemics, especially during the Lunar New Year (Tet) holiday.

Department's vice director Hoang Duc Hanh said medical units and hospitals have been asked to actively plan supervision, forecast and measures for timely handling of any disease outbreaks in 2014.

The National Expanded Programme for Immunisation has been urged to strengthen its regular activities, human resources, facilities and stocks of chemicals for disease prevention and medical treatment.

The city's preventive medicine centre has been instructed to increase supervision and inspection in districts, towns and wards for better epidemic prevention.

The department's statistics showed a decrease in the incidence of most diseases and epidemics last year, thanks to the involvement of and efforts by the city's political system and collaboration between different branches and sectors. All outbreaks were detected, isolated and handled in time, which helped to minimise the spread of the diseases and curbed fatalities.

In 2013, there were 3,132 dengue fever cases, a reduction by 32 per cent compared to the year's target. There were 2,727 cases of hand, foot and mouth disease, a reduction by 38.6 per cent over the previous year. No cases of rabies and avian influenza type H5N1 were reported in 2013.