October 26, 2023
HANOI – HCM City’s Department of Health has reported that 18 out of the 20 cases of mpox recorded in the city from the beginning of 2023 were in HIV positive patients.
In addition to this development, the Department of Health issued warnings about other dangerous infectious diseases, such as dengue fever and hand, foot, and mouth disease (HFMD), which continue to pose significant threats.
As of 4pm on October 22, a total of 20 cases were being treated for mpox at the Paediatric Tropical Hospital, with 18 cases having the added complication of also being HIV positive.
At present, two of these cases have deteriorated severely, with diagnoses of septicemia, cellulitis, genital ulcers, malignant syphilis, pulmonary tuberculosis, pleural effusion and skin infections.
In response to these health concerns, the HCM City Department of Health recently held an online conference to discuss the situation of infection detection and treatment with neighbouring provinces in the southern region.
Over the first nine months of 2023 in the southern region, the fundamental aspects of infection detection and treatment have been well-maintained.
Localities have shown significant attention and appropriate investments in healthcare, ensuring the adequate supply of treatment medications for patients.
Tertiary general hospitals and pediatric hospitals in provinces and cities have received specialised support from HCM City’s hospitals. They have successfully implemented advanced technical services, contributing to an improved treatment capacity at the local level, resulting in the timely saving of many severe cases.
However, some specialised maternity and pediatric hospitals in certain provinces in the region still lack essential drugs (such as gamma globulin, phenobarbital and milrinone), and some provincial hospitals have not yet implemented blood filtration techniques. This deficiency has impeded their ability to provide timely treatment for paediatric patients, leading to the unsafe transfer of patients. Consequently, these patients are not treated promptly, which can result in severe complications and, in some cases, fatalities.
Statistical data indicates that approximately 70 per cent of pediatric patients receiving treatment for infectious diseases at the four tertiary hospitals in HCM City come from other provinces and cities.
This mass transfer of patients to the city’s hospitals has led to localised overburdening of these facilities.
Therefore, the HCM City Department of Health recommends that tertiary hospitals in provinces and cities continue to maximize their treatment capabilities. They should expedite the purchase of essential drugs and necessary medical supplies for the treatment of hand, foot, and mouth disease and dengue fever, ensuring a seamless process of diagnosis, treatment, and patient care on-site.
Lower-level hospitals should actively consult remotely with tertiary hospitals for challenging cases, limiting the unsafe transfer of patients.
For patients in critical condition who require transfer to hospitals in HCM City, hospitals should conduct consultations before transferring patients and make adequate arrangements for transportation, medical equipment, and patient monitoring. This will ensure the safe transfer of patients and minimise the risk of mortality during the transfer process, while also reducing the likelihood of patients resorting to self-transportation. — VNS