Diarrhoea and Cholera
Diarrhoeal diseases display several specific features. Firstly, they may be due to a very large variety of pathogens. Secondly, whilst the clinical diagnosis of the symptom “diarrhoea” is easy and standardized diagnostic decision schemes exist, for the majority of cases in Vietnam there is no laboratory confirmation of such and such agent. The percentage of hospitalized cases is relatively low; most cases are treated either at home by the family or in Commune Health Stations, policlinics or outpatient wards of hospitals. Therefore, the usual health statistics based on systematic, laboratory-based reports from health facilities can give no clear picture of the incidence or mortality by the various types of diarrhoeal diseases with the exception of bacterial or amoebic dysentery and cholera.