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Tỷ lệ cư dân Việt ở San Jose chết vì bệnh quá cao

[ Monday, 12 December, 2011 ]

By Karen de Sá
kdesa@mercurynews.com
Posted: 12/11/2011 04:44:53 PM PST
Updated: 12/11/2011 08:43:27 PM PST

Vietnamese residents of Santa Clara County suffer from higher rates of cancer, tuberculosis and heart disease than most other racial and ethnic groups, concludes a new report being released Monday by county officials.
Vietnamese community leaders say the grim findings can help in the development of better, more strategic outreach programs, screenings and public health campaigns.

“The report really confirms what we suspected, but we didn’t know how severe the problems were,” said Van Lan Truong, who served on the advisory board for the Status of Vietnamese Health survey conducted by the public health department. “A study like this helps policy makers, elected officials, funders, government agencies and community-based organizations — anybody who really works with the Vietnamese population — to have a better understanding and hopefully improve existing services.”

Truong, who serves as chair of the National Congress of Vietnamese Americans, said the first-ever study is critical in a region that is home to more Vietnamese than practically anywhere else in the country.
According to the report called for by Board of Supervisors President Dave Cortese, cancer was the leading cause of death among the county’s Vietnamese residents — accounting for a larger percentage of total Vietnamese deaths in 2011 than for the county as a whole. The report found Vietnamese adults more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to suffer and die from liver, lung and cervical cancer. The rates for heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure were also disproportionately high.

The health problems have been exacerbated by a lack of health insurance and limited attention by researchers, noted Public Health Director Dan Peddycord. “Prior to this assessment, data for this population in our county had been scant at best,” Peddycord said, adding that the report can be used to improve public policy and the delivery of health care services.

Santa Clara County’s Vietnamese population has burgeoned in recent decades, from 11,700 residents in 1980 to 134,525 people last year — roughly 8 percent of the total population. San Jose has the largest number of Vietnamese of any American city, and the number of county residents is surpassed only by Orange County.
But inadequate English language skills, a lack of employer-sponsored health coverage and a difficult-to-navigate health system, many Vietnamese fare worse than their counterparts in every other racial or ethnic group — aside from Latinos, the report states. Researchers found 1 in 4 of the county’s adult Vietnamese residents lacked health coverage.

Still other ills are prevalent but more difficult to measure. Forty percent of survey respondents said in the past year they suffered from a mental health problem that interfered with their daily activities. And although culturally, family connections are paramount among the Vietnamese, domestic violence, substance abuse, intergenerational conflict and youth gang membership continue to strain peace at home.

That’s why the county needs more effective strategies to reach low-income Vietnamese, said Quyen Vuong, executive director of the International Children Assistance Network. One in 10 local Vietnamese residents lived in poverty between 2007 and 2009.

Outreach about topics from the importance of Pap smears to parenting classes must be “culturally sensitive,” Vuong said, not just the translation of a mainstream American curriculum. Given their great numbers in the local population, “the programs ought to be designed with the Vietnamese clients in mind.”

http://www.mercurynews.com/health/ci_19526142?IADID=Search-www.mercurynews.com-www.mercurynews.com

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