The hepatitis ward in the Hanoi–based Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases is always crowded with many late hospitalizations. Untreated hepatitis B and C viruses are the leading causes of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Chairman of the Vietnam Liver and Bile Association Le Trung Hai said that 20,000 people die of liver cancer each year in Vietnam.
Director of Bach Mai Hospital’s Department for Tropical Diseases Dr. Do Duy Cuong said that hepatitis B infections have reached an alarming rate as 10-15 percent of its population has contracted the disease and 2 percent of the population contracted hepatitis C.
Accordingly, 16 million Vietnamese people are contracting hepatitis viruses presently.
Dr. Cuong warned hepatitis is a silent killer because people don’t have clear symptoms at the first stage. Therefore, up to 90 percent of hepatitis patients don’t know their health status without blood test. Many people detected the disease at late stage.
According to the Preventive Health Department under the Ministry of Health, prevalence rates of hepatitis B and C virus in Vietnam rank first in the Asia-Pacific region.
Director of the Central Hospital for Tropical Diseases Professor Nguyen Van Kinh advised people to have tests once or twice a year, take exercise, not drink liquor and cut stress.