Says another: “How many more children have to die before you declare an epidemic? If you still have some dignity, please resign and give the position to someone else with better qualifications and more willingness to do the job so that the people will suffer less.”
Other Internet comments suggest health officials are downplaying the crisis because of Vietnam’s commitments to eradicate measles by 2017 — inspiring this caustic Facebook post: “Through this we can see how talented our health minister is—too talented. Her motto is listening to no one, knowing nothing, seeing nothing.”
Criticism escalated when Tien seemed to minimize the undeclared epidemic by contending only 25 deaths were technically attributable to measles, even though scores children have died as a result of measles-related complications such as pneumonia.
The World Health Organization says it is “very concerned” about the outbreak, partly because WHO and UNICEF undertook an apparently less-than-successful vaccination campaign to eliminate measles from Vietnam by 2012.
In the age of the Internet, the message for Vietnam is the same as that for government agencies worldwide: Google knows and Facebook shares.