Vietnam develops its own innovations in treating Covid-19 patients: health expert

by NDO13 March 2020 Last updated at 14:39 PM

A health worker checks the body temperature of a resident in medical isolation at the Military School of Quang Ninh Province.
A health worker checks the body temperature of a resident in medical isolation at the Military School of Quang Ninh Province.

VTV.vn - Vietnam and the World Health Organisation (WHO) are in common on treatment regimens for Covid-19 patients, however, the country has its own innovative features when applied in practice.

The information has been shared by doctor Nguyen Trung Cap, Head of the Emergency Department under the National Hospital of Tropical Diseases, at a recent teleconference on increasing resistance against Covid-19 hosted by Nhan Dan Online.

According to Cap, Vietnam has strong anti-epidemic skills that have been trained for a long time. Right from before the Covid-19 epidemic had penetrated into Vietnam, its anti-epidemic system has been activated.

In each epidemic season, the health sector always draws lessons learned from the practice to make proper adjustment for all activities, such as the organisation of medical isolation, risk communication, logistics and personnel issues. In every season, Vietnam also carries out training and supporting activities, helping to raise the capacity of medical facilities at all levels in participating in the anti-epidemic work.

Regarding to Covid-19, Cap said that the new epidemic is close to that of SARS caused by a member of the coronavirus family. Therefore, Vietnam’s experiences in coping with the SARS epidemic have also greatly assisted the nation in dealing with the new coronavirus disease.

He stressed that one of the vital experiences from facing SARS is that Vietnam did not use closed isolation camps but open ones, making it possible to bring the isolation and treatment to the local medical facilities and even to regional clinics like in Vinh Phuc Province while still ensuring treatment quality.

“The sharing of internal information also helps improve the disease control at all levels. Although the treatment is carried at different levels, the procedure and techniques applied are not much different as we have connection, technology transfer and enhancement from the upline to the lower levels. Those are good things which we have acquired through many disease outbreaks,” said Cap.

Another important thing is the participation of the community. Through each epidemic season, the public awareness has increased markedly. That also contributes a part to Vietnam’s increased anti-epidemic capacity, he said.

Regarding the treatment regimen for Covid-19, Cap emphasised that most of Vietnam’s knowledge on the new disease is gained from studies in China’s Wuhan City – the epicentre of the current global coronavirus outbreak. For that reason, Vietnam’s treatment regimen is completely unified with WHO. However, when applied in practice, Vietnam has developed some new points.

Doctor Nguyen Trung Cap.

Doctor Nguyen Trung Cap.

For example, Vietnam is fighting against the epidemic based on the "four on-the-spot" viewpoint, which targets on-site prevention, isolation and treatment; on the spot facilities, equipment, medicines and protective equipment; on-site funding; and on-site human resources. In addition, Vietnam also uses open quarantine camps to help facilitate air circulation that suits the local climate and weather conditions. “In Wuhan, it is unlikely for them to use open isolation zones like us, as it is cold, so Wuhan is forced to use negative pressure isolation chambers to isolate Covid-19 patients. Those are some creative approaches suitable to our climate conditions compared to the Covid-19 treatment guidelines in some neighbouring countries,” said Cap.

Regarding the effective use of oriental medicine in the coronavirus disease prevention and control, Cao said that in the treatment of Covid-19, there are two noteworthy points. For the majority of mild cases, we mainly treat the disease symptoms with modern medicine or herbal therapies. For severe cases, for example patients with severe lung damage, they are obliged to use resuscitation measures of modern medicine, such as using mechanical ventilation and artificial heart and lung support. “The value of traditional medicine lies in the symptomatic support, helping to improve the condition of patients during their fight against Covid-19. Certainly, these remedies can reduce symptoms and support the body's resistance,” said Cap.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Xuan Phu, Deputy Director of the National Lung Hospital, said that, not only in this epidemic, Vietnam has succeeded in many previous disease prevention and control campaigns. Vietnam’s interventions are consistent with the reality in the country, based on the situation of the virus characteristics and disease patterns, as well as the conditions of medical facilities.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Xuan Phu, Deputy Director of the National Lung Hospital.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Vu Xuan Phu, Deputy Director of the National Lung Hospital.

Dr. Phu said that international organisations praise for Vietnam's efforts in the disease prevention is not sudden as they have carried out thoroughly research on the work in the country, as well as basing research on epidemiological statistics which show the success of epidemic prevention and treatment in Vietnam.

According to doctor Cap, the experience in treating 16 cases of Covid-19 infections to help them recover and back to normal life, as well as previous cases of SARS or other diseases in Vietnam, has shown that the country’s health sector has the full capacity to cope with complex disease situations as well as treating severe patients. However, there is also a very important thing, which is the full participation of all authorities, social organisations and people at all levels to successfully control the epidemic.

"Effective treatment also comes from effective prevention. I hope that with our ability to actively prevent the disease, accompanied by the full participation of the entire nation in disease prevention, the treatment efficiency will be ensured," said Cap.

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