The French Embassy in Vietnam announced on Tuesday a new initiative called 'Doctors Answer,’ a website that provides useful information on asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
'Doctors Answer' is now accessible at https://bac-si-giai-dap.com/, with Vietnamese and English language versions available.
‘Doctors Answer’ is a non-commercial and collaborative website bringing together healthcare professionals to raise awareness and make information on chronic diseases accessible to all, according to the website's introduction.
Even though the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic currently has the spotlight, the health initiative aims to raise awareness of asthma and COPD, which are more common and can be even more dangerous than the novel coronavirus.
'Doctors Answer' will work as an informative website where users can find information regarding asthma and COPD.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), COPD is the third-leading cause of death in the world, taking around three million lives annually.
Despite its prevalence, there are many people who have never even heard of it and may not be aware of the symptoms.
There are about 339 million people suffering from asthma while 251 million people are diagnosed with COPD every year, according to data supplied by the WHO.
Despite these diseases' danger, only about 4.3 percent of people in Vietnam knew about COPD in a recent survey, according to Associate Professor Tran Van Ngoc, deputy head of the faculty of medicine - University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City.
In some cases, the lack of knowledge leads them to trust unofficial treatments, which leave them in much worse conditions and may even cause death.
'Doctors Answer' was born out of the desire to raise awareness about the risks of these two chronic diseases.
The initiative has the support of the French Embassy in Hanoi and the startup InnYte, whose co-founder and CEO is Sandrine Egron.
‘Doctors Answer’ is also supported by many leading experts in respiratory diseases in Vietnam and France.
|Dr. Dinh Xuan Anh Tuan (on a screen), professor of respiratory physiology and medicine at Université de Paris, shares his thoughts about the 'Doctors Answer' website via video link at its launch at Center Medical International in Ho Chi Minh City, October 13, 2020. Photo: Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News|
As advisors, they review all of the medical information that is published on the website.
The experts who live in France include Dr. Dinh Xuan Anh Tuan, professor of respiratory physiology and medicine at Université de Paris; Dr. Jean Bousquet, honorary professor of pulmonary medicine at Montpellier University, France; Dr. Marc Hubert, vice-president of the European Respiratory Society, professor of respiratory medicine at Université Paris-Saclay in France; and Dr. Nicolas Roche, professor of respiratory medicine at Paris Descartes University.
The Vietnamese experts are Associate Professor Le Thi Tuyet Lan, respiratory medicine and physiology expert at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City and chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City Society of Asthma, Allergy, and Clinical Immunology; Dr. Ngo Quy Chau, president of the Vietnam Respiratory Society and former chairman of the management board of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi; Associate Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung, director of the National Lung Hospital and president of the Vietnam Lung Association; and Associate Professor Tran Van Ngoc, deputy head of the faculty of medicine - University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ho Chi Minh City.
Speaking at the launch of the website on Tuesday afternoon, Associate Professor Tuyet Lan expressed her hope that the initiative would offer a source of accurate information on COPD and asthma. In the long run, the team behind the website will expand to other common respiratory diseases.
According to Egron from InnYte, in the beginning phase, the website is focused on providing knowledge that can help answer the most common questions from patients who are concerned about COPD and asthma.
Although users can freely put any questions relating to the two aforementioned diseases to the experts, the website currently does not offer a tool of direct interaction between both sides.
It is worth noting that the users do not have to subscribe to ask questions.
Their questions will be transferred to the experts and their answers will then be published on the website so others with the same problem can also access the information.