Vietnamese people are among the groups with highest risk of stroke, but the nation’s healthcare system is ill-equipped to handle the problem, an expert says.
Doctor Nguyen Huy Thang, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Stroke Association, told a meeting on Tuesday that the ratio of stroke cases in Vietnam was 218 per 100,000 people in 2019, citing a study published on The Lancet, a weekly peer-reviewed general medical journal based in England.
That put Vietnam in the group with the highest risk of the brain attack along with Indonesia, Laos, Mozambique, Madagascar, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, Turkmenistan, and others.
He said strokes are now among the top causes of death in Vietnam, with more fatal cases than cardiovascular diseases.
However, the number of medical facilities to treat the condition in Vietnam has remained limited.
Since the first stroke treatment unit was established at 115 People’s Hospital in HCMC in 2005, there are now only 110 facilities nationwide, and most of them are placed in HCMC and Hanoi.
Many provinces and small cities across the country do not have such treatment facilities yet and in many cases, it takes patients several hours to reach the nearest stroke center.
On average, a stroke unit in Vietnam treats over 2,000 patients per year, while in the U.S., it receives only 300 patients.
Thang said Vietnam needs 400 more stroke units in the coming years.
The leader of the Vietnam Stroke Association said that establishing stroke units with a team of specially trained doctors and nurses could bring great benefits to the community.
He noted that with the need for treatment as soon as possible, the number of stroke treatment facilities needs to expand by geographical distance so that patients can get medical attention within 60 minutes of developing symptoms.
According to doctors, strokes can be prevented and the people that are most vulnerable to the condition are those who smoke, suffer from high blood pressure, or have diabetes and obesity.
Source: VN Express