AstraZeneca Vietnam on July 23 donated 150,00 boxes of medicine valued at a total of VND62.6 billion ($2.7 million) to the Ministry of Health to support the treatment of patients with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during COVID-19.
|At the MoH office, Nitin Kapoor, chairman and general director of AstraZeneca Vietnam and Asia Frontier Markets, presented the donation to Dr. Truong Quoc Cuong, Deputy Minister of Health, with the witness of British Ambassador to Vietnam Gareth Ward and other MoH representatives |
Vietnam is facing the fourth outbreak of COVID-19 with surging cases across the country. Amidst this pandemic, the country is also facing the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) that are currently the leading cause of death, accounting for about 70 per cent of the local disease burden. Nationwide, 77 out of 100 deaths are due to NCDs, of which cardiovascular diseases account for 31 per cent, cancer for 19 per cent, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) for 6 per cent, and diabetes for 4 per cent. In addition, underlying conditions of NCDs are also aggravating and risk factors for deaths due to COVID-19.
Nitin Kapoor said: “AstraZeneca appreciates the efforts of the Ministry of Health (MoH) to manage the double burden of COVID-19 and NCDs, and is committed to supporting this endeavour. Therefore, besides our contribution to supplying millions of doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the people in Vietnam, we are donating a large quantity of medicines to support the treatment of NCDs.”
|Nitin Kapoor, chairman and general director, AstraZeneca Vietnam and Asia Area Frontier Markets |
“We are confident that this donation will help maintain crucial treatment for local patients and reduce the risks from underlying conditions coupled with the coronavirus,” he added.
As part of the company’s commitment to support the MoH in effectively managing NCDs during the pandemic, AstraZeneca Vietnam has urgently donated medicine to support treatments for NCD patients – those who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
|Dr. Truong Quoc Cuong, Deputy Minister of Health |
Speaking at the event, Dr. Truong Quoc Cuong, Deputy Minister of Health said: “The MoH values AstraZeneca’s active role in supporting Vietnam to combat the impact of COVID-19. Your important contribution today will help strengthen both the treatment of NCDs during the pandemic, as well as the health system as a whole. On this occasion, we would also like to encourage people to take regular health checks and manage their conditions, which will prevent them from greater risks once contracting this virus.”
British Ambassador Gareth Ward also said: “Tackling NCDs, both in terms of prevention and treatment, plays a crucial role in improving social welfare and economic development in Vietnam, and becomes even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am delighted that UK-Vietnam bilateral cooperation in this field is being leveraged by corporate social responsibility, with AstraZeneca’s medicine donation being one among various great examples.”
According to the MoH, the medicines received on this occasion will soon be distributed in line with the objectives of the National Strategy for the Prevention of Non-Communicable Diseases, particularly giving priority to grassroots-level health facilities which have limited access to innovative medicines.
To support Vietnam’s health system when it faced great shortages, last year AstraZeneca donated 400,000 medical masks to the MoH and personal protective equipment to the National Hospital for Tropical Diseases. The company’s contributions to Vietnam’s fight against the pandemic were recognised with the Minister of Health’s Award of Excellence.
In parallel, the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, provided broadly and equitably around the world, was the first to be authorised and supplied in large quantities in Vietnam to support the Vietnamese government’s national vaccination programme. According to the Ministry of Health, as of 22 July 2021, almost 4.4 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across the country.