70 percent of Vietnamese people infected with HP bacteria
Helicobacter Pylori (HP) is a bacteria which can lead to duodenal ulcers and stomach cancer - and roughly 70 per cent of Vietnam's population are infected, according to one of the country's biggest hospitals.
Besides the high rate of people having HP bacteria in their stomachs, Vietnam faces another problem: the bacteria has developed resistance to many kinds of antibiotics due to abuse of antibiotics among patients, Bach Mai Hospital said on Monday.
The stomach diseases caused by HP bacteria are prolific enough to have many kinds of responding medicines. In many countries they are 80 to 90 percent effective, but they are only 50-70 percent effective in Vietnam because of antibiotic resistance.
This is a hard problem to solve anywhere, but it is even more so in Vietnam as many patients use antibiotics without prescriptions, local doctors said, noting that the resistance leads to longer hospital stays, higher medical costs and increased mortality.
Over half of the world's population harbor HP in their upper gastrointestinal tract, and the infection is more common in developing countries than in the West, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.