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As the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) continues to grow in Vietnam, such a partnership plays an important role in sending a strong message to the community, hence helping them to prevent and diagnose the “silent killers” at an early stage.
In the early morning of November 23 in Hanoi, AstraZeneca Vietnam and the Vietnam Young Physicians Association hosted Community Day 2019 in partnership with the Vietnam Lung Association, the Ministry of Health, and other institutes. The event gathered about 3,000 participants including 1,000 people at the risk of diabetes, AstraZeneca employees, and volunteers from partners.
Community Day 2019 was organised with the theme "Early action for a healthy community" and activities geared towards raising awareness and prevention for diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and cancer. Somewhat of a rarity, the event provided free packages to attendees, containing blood sugar and blood pressure test, lung function checks, and early breast cancer screening. Besides, free diet consultation and a roadshow to promote disease education also attracted many young people.
“With a 25-year heritage in Vietnam, AstraZeneca is proud to contribute to improving the quality of lives for patients with NCDs such as diabetes, COPD, and cancer,” said Nitin Kapoor, company president, AstraZeneca Vietnam and Asia Area Frontier Markets, on the occasion.
“Through the partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Vietnam Young Physicians Association, AstraZeneca and our volunteers are eager to take part in Community Day 2019 to help raise awareness within our community to improve family health protection and the early detection of NCDs,” he noted.
The Sweden-based company has been collaborating with a number of local healthcare partners to reduce the prevalence and improve the management of NCDs. Part of the commitment includes the implementation of the Young Health Programme to empower young people and their communities to make healthy choices in diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Healthy Lung Vietnam is another example that addresses national asthma and COPD management.
Speaking at the event, Prof. Dr Tran Van Thuan, president of the Vietnam Young Physicians Association (VYPA) highlighted the importance of raising awareness and early prevention of diabetes and COPD, which are two of five NCDs – the leading causes of death in the world.
Thuan said, “Following the success of Community Day 2018 themed ‘Early action in diabetes for families and communities’, VYPA continues to set two main goals for this year's event. First, raising awareness about the risks of diabetes, COPD, and other non-communicable diseases. Second, highlighting the importance of families and communities in supporting the care, prevention, and management of NCDs, especially the importance of early detection as it helps to reduce the risks of complications, mortality, and treatment costs for patients.”
There are up to five million people living with diabetes in Vietnam – and patients are getting younger and the complications are getting worse. There are about three million patients in Vietnam with COPD and 90 per cent of cases came from smoking, while 1 per cent of COPD incidences have developed into lung cancer.