More than 1,500 students and state employees gathered in Can Tho city on April 14 in response to the national campaign for preventing hand-foot-mouth disease (HFM).
The national campaign aims to raise public awareness about the risk of spreading HFM in 63 provinces and cities nationwide and today's meeting will be duplicated in nine districts of Can Tho City.
Since the beginning of this year, 518 people in Can Tho have contracted the disease and two have died from it, which is 11 times higher than the number of cases recorded during the same period last year.
Nguyen Trung Nghia, Deputy Director of the city’s Health Department, called on families with children under five to focus on preventative activities including frequent hand washing, eating well-cooked food and only drinking boiled water because there is currently no vaccine to combat the disease.
The municipal Steering Committee has asked the education sector and the Women’s Union Chapter in Can Tho to play an active role in responding to the campaign. Nguyen Qui Don, Deputy Director of the municipal Education Department, said that schools and educational centres should obey the regulations for preventing HFM by thoroughly cleaning the classrooms and co-ordinating with parents to detect infections quickly.
Health workers should also co-ordinate with local health departments near schools to cope with the disease and educate parents on preventive measures.