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Dr Takeshi Kasai was confirmed today as the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific by the WHO Executive Board in Geneva, Switzerland.

“I am grateful for the trust placed in me by WHO Member States and deeply honoured to serve as Regional Director for the Western Pacific,” said Dr Kasai. He underscored the importance of making WHO even more responsive to countries’ needs in a world where rapid economic, environmental and social changes are affecting the lives and health of the Region’s nearly 1.9 billion people.

Viet Nam reports reduced road traffic deaths

Hanoi, 11 December – Road accident-related deaths in Viet Nam has been decreasing over the recent years, the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) confirmed in the Global status report on road safety 2018 released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on 7 December 2018. For six consecutive years since 2012, the reported annual number of road accident fatalities in the country has been reduced, and has stayed at below 10 000 every year, compared with around 12 000 prior to 2012.

The decreasing trend on road accident-related deaths is attributed to Viet Nam’s strong leadership on strengthening mechanisms to ensure road safety. Included are the development and implementation of a legislative framework that addresses, among others, two of the major risk factors for road traffic injuries: non-use of helmet and driving under the influence of alcohol. The issuance of the National plan for awareness raising and enforcement of drink-driving law, 2015 – 2020 in December 2015 – which outlined specific actions to curb the problem of drink-driving in the country – further demonstrated the government’s long-term commitment in effectively managing road safety

Working together to combat antibiotic resistance

Hanoi, 12 November 2018 – Viet Nam, once again confirms its strong commitment in the global initiative to combat antibiotic resistance, as the country holds various activities to celebrate the fourth World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW) from 12 to 18 November 2018.

The National Steering Committee for Antibiotic Resistance, is joining forces with the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Office in Viet Nam, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and other One Health partners to call on doctors, pharmacists, health workers, farmers, veterinarians, the food and agriculture industry, the academe and the general public to “Handle Antibiotics with Care”. Since their discovery, antibiotics have served as the cornerstone of modern medicine. However, the persistent overuse and misuse of antibiotics in human and animal have encouraged the emergence and spread of antibiotic resistance (AMR), which occurs when microbes, such as bacteria, become resistant to the drugs used to treat them.

WHO lauds Viet Nam’s health insurance coverage of new hepatitis C treatment

The World Health Organization (WHO) Representative Office in Viet Nam commends the decision of the Ministry of Health to approve the inclusion of hepatitis C treatment in the list of medicines partially reimbursable through health insurance. Starting 1 January 2019 patients will be able to avail of 50% reimbursement for direct-acting antivirals (DAA), a recently developed treatment for hepatitis C with a cure rate as high as 95-97%.

“With the new policy in place, more hepatitis C patients will have access to this life-saving treatment; more patients can be cured. Liver cancer and mortality caused by hepatitis C virus can be prevented,” said Dr Nguyen Trong Khoa, Vice Director of Viet Nam Administration for Medical Services

WHO Representative to Viet Nam

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