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U.S. pharmaceutical firm holds summit to alleviate burden of NCDs in Vietnam

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HANOI – Pfizer Upjohn, a pharmaceutical manufacturing company in the United States, on October 9, supported the Vietnam Heart Association in organizing the Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) Summit, a medical training program aimed at improving the skills and knowledge of Vietnamese doctors, to reduce NCDs in the country.

Attended by leading healthcare professionals, the summit discussed several issues related to NCDs, detailed the best practices in NCD management and helped improve the professional skills of local doctors in patient treatment.

In Vietnam, NCDs account for a large proportion of all deaths, posing multiple challenges for community healthcare.

Speaking at the summit, which attracted over 600 doctors and pharmacists nationwide, Dr. Nguyen Quoc Thai from the Vietnam Heart Association said that according to the 2016 statistics by the World Health Organization, some 71% of deaths annually were caused by chronic NCDs, with cardiovascular diseases taking the lead. The percentage is expected to rise to 73% in late 2020, Thai added.

Through the cooperation with Pfizer Upjohn, the association expects to reduce the number of undiagnosed, untreated and uncontrollable cases in the community and standardize healthcare for this group.

Echoing the view, Dr. Van Duc Hanh from the Vietnam Heart Institute, said that the number of undiagnosed, untreated and uncontrollable cases remained high in Vietnam, so the training program could help doctors optimize treatment to minimize cardiovascular events.

Mental illness is also a challenge for the healthcare sector as stigma and discrimination against mentally ill patients and their family members have prevented the patients from accessing treatment, said Dr. Nguyen Doan Phuong, head of the National Institute of Mental Health.

As such, through the summit, the management of NCDs, especially mental illness, would be improved, Phuong noted.

Cho Yun-Ju, deputy head of the Representative Office of Pfizer, which owns Upjohn, said that through medical training programs and courses launched by Upjohn, Pfizer expects to help Vietnam improve the health of patients.

By Van Ly

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