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85 percent road accidents caused by drivers’ faults

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 4:03 am

Eighty five percent of traffic accidents occurred due to drivers’ carelessness, Transport Minister Ho Nghia Dung told Sai Gon Giai Phong newspapers at a conference on traffic accidents.

A laden vehicle travels  in streets ( Photo: SGGP)

Mr. Dung said that the authorities have tried to reduce road accidents by raising residents’ awareness of traffic safety issues, and by imposing heavier penalties for violating traffic laws.


However, there are many causes of traffic accidents, but most happened due to the carelessness of drivers.


Drivers travel at high speed along streets and encroach onto opposite lanes on the road. This has clearly showed that all efforts to educate people, regarding traffic laws have failed, said Mr. Dung.


The minister admitted that the use of textbooks, at drivers’ training classes for obtaining a license, has not concentrated on raising awareness of motorcycle hazards on the road. Therefore, the transport authorities have made some minor adjustments in the textbooks.


These adjustments include three additional chapters, which include predictions of dangerous situation in streets, knowledge on how to prevent traffic accidents and how to protect oneself, and first aid knowledge about road injuries.


Transport authorities may cancel and revoke a driver’s license, if a driver has violated traffic laws many times.


For Tet (lunar New Year) holidays, authorities will try to further reduce road accidents by way of prohibiting unsafe vehicles, from traveling on streets, and by controlling boats without lifebuoys.


Street wardens will impose harsh penalties on those drivers that violate law regulations. These traffic violations include vehicles that travel at high speed, vehicles who encroach onto opposite lanes, driving while drunk and over laden vehicles.


The National Traffic Safety Committee, the Ministry of Transport and local government’s officials will work to ensure that all drivers on the road adhere to traffic regulations from January 24 to February 7.


The National Traffic Safety Committee in Hanoi held the conference.

The number of traffic accidents in 2010 in Vietnam is 14,442, an increase of over 1,788 cases. Although the road crash fatalities have dropped by 47 cases, it is still high with 11,449 people dying on the roads.

The injury toll is also up by 2,500 cases, according to the National Traffic Safety Committee’s statistics.

The northern province of Lai Chau, the highlands province of Kon Tum and the Mekong delta province of Bac Lieu have witnessed a high number of traffic-related deaths.

The National Traffic Safety Committee plans to further reduce road accidents and traffic death by at least 3 percent.

Source: SGGP

Natural disasters caused heavy losses in life and property

In Uncategorized on August 1, 2010 at 7:18 pm




Natural disasters caused heavy losses in life and property


QĐND – Sunday, August 01, 2010, 21:10 (GMT+7)

The first and second tropical storms in July, Conson and Chanthu, caused great losses of human lives and resources, and seriously impacted production and the daily lives of the local people.


The General Statistics Office (GSO) says that the natural disasters have left 40 dead and missing and caused a total of VND1,300 billion in property damage. The northern port city of Hai Phong suffered most, with a material loss of about VND1,200 billion.


According to a preliminary report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), more than 100 houses collapsed and about 1,900 more were partially damaged, while nearly 13,000 hectares of rice and other crops were damaged or washed away.


Each year, about 750 people are killed or go missing in Vietnam due to natural disasters, and an estimated 1.5 percent of the nation’s GDP in property is lost. Functional agencies need to increase their forecasting and warning capacity for floods and storms and make more joint efforts in responding to natural disasters.


The Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and the National Committee for Search and Rescue should draw up flexible plans to help local people cope with natural calamities to minimise human and material losses.


Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Stem cells reverse blindness caused by burns

In Uncategorized on June 24, 2010 at 4:37 am

Dozens of people who were blinded or otherwise suffered severe eye damage when they were splashed with caustic chemicals had their sight restored with transplants of their own stem cells — a stunning success for the burgeoning cell-therapy field, Italian researchers reported Wednesday.


The treatment worked completely in 82 of 107 eyes and partially in 14 others, with benefits lasting up to a decade so far. One man whose eyes were severely damaged more than 60 years ago now has near-normal vision.


“This is a roaring success,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Ivan Schwab of the University of California, Davis, who had no role in the study — the longest and largest of its kind.


Stem cell transplants offer hope to the thousands of people worldwide every year who suffer chemical burns on their corneas from heavy-duty cleansers or other substances at work or at home.

This image from an Italian study published online Wednesday, June 23, 2010 by the New England Journal of Medicine shows the eyes of three patients with alkali burns before and after successful stem cell transplants.

The approach would not help people with damage to the optic nerve or macular degeneration, which involves the retina. Nor would it work in people who are completely blind in both eyes, because doctors need at least some healthy tissue that they can transplant.


In the study, published online by the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers took a small number of stem cells from a patient’s healthy eye, multiplied them in the lab and placed them into the burned eye, where they were able to grow new corneal tissue to replace what had been damaged. Since the stem cells are from their own bodies, the patients do not need to take anti-rejection drugs.


Adult stem cells have been used for decades to cure blood cancers such as leukemia and diseases like sickle cell anemia. But fixing a problem like damaged eyes is a relatively new use. Researchers have been studying cell therapy for a host of other diseases, including diabetes and heart failure, with limited success.


Adult stem cells, which are found around the body, are different from embryonic stem cells, which come from human embryos and have stirred ethical concerns because removing the cells requires destroying the embryos.


Currently, people with eye burns can get an artificial cornea, a procedure that carries such complications as infection and glaucoma, or they can receive a transplant using stem cells from a cadaver, but that requires taking drugs to prevent rejection.


The Italian study involved 106 patients treated between 1998 and 2007. Most had extensive damage in one eye, and some had such limited vision that they could only sense light, count fingers or perceive hand motions. Many had been blind for years and had had unsuccessful operations to restore their vision.


The cells were taken from the limbus, the rim around the cornea, the clear window that covers the colored part of the eye. In a normal eye, stem cells in the limbus are like factories, churning out new cells to replace dead corneal cells. When an injury kills off the stem cells, scar tissue forms over the cornea, clouding vision and causing blindness.


In the Italian study, the doctors removed scar tissue over the cornea and glued the laboratory-grown stem cells over the injured eye. In cases where both eyes were damaged by burns, cells were taken from an unaffected part of the limbus.


Researchers followed the patients for an average of three years and some as long as a decade. More than three-quarters regained sight after the transplant. An additional 13 percent were considered a partial success. Though their vision improved, they still had some cloudiness in the cornea.


Patients with superficial damage were able to see within one to two months. Those with more extensive injuries took several months longer.


“They were incredibly happy. Some said it was a miracle,” said one of the study leaders, Graziella Pellegrini of the University of Modena’s Center for Regenerative Medicine in Italy. “It was not a miracle. It was simply a technique.”


The study was partly funded by the Italian government.


Researchers in the United States have been testing a different way to use self-supplied stem cells, but that work is preliminary.


One of the successful transplants in the Italian study involved a man who had severe damage in both eyes as a result of a chemical burn in 1948. Doctors grafted stem cells from a small section of his left eye to both eyes. His vision is now close to normal.

In 2008, there were 2,850 work-related chemical burns to the eyes in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Schwab of UC Davis said stem cell transplants would not help those blinded by burns in both eyes because doctors need stem cells to do the procedure.

“I don’t want to give the false hope that this will answer their prayers,” he said.

Dr. Sophie Deng, a cornea expert at the UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute, said the biggest advantage was that the Italian doctors were able to expand the number of stem cells in the lab. This technique is less invasive than taking a large tissue sample from the eye and lowers the chance of an eye injury.

“The key is whether you can find a good stem cell population and expand it,” she said.

Source: SGGP

Damages caused by dust cyclone in north, central Vietnam

In Uncategorized on May 22, 2010 at 5:20 pm

Sweltering weather and dust tornados hit the north and central Vietnam on May 21, causing damages and illnesses.

The dust tornado slams into Hanoi on May 21

A powerful ten meter dust, waste whirlwind and cyclone caused destruction when it slammed into Hanoi. It toppled many trees, tore off roofs in its way. The cyclone happened at rush hour, causing panic among thousands of drivers and pedestrians on streets.


The cyclone starts a storm which is a common phenomenon of the first period of summer, according to the National Meteorology and Hydrology Forecasting Center.


The broiling weather with the temperature of 40 Celsius degree struck the central province of Quang Binh on the day, causing troubles.


Ms. Ho Thi Do in district Quang Ninh suffered heart attacks while working in a rice field.


Luckily, other farmers rushed her to a hospital in itime; however, she was totally paralyzed and it took long time to recover, said doctors.


Some students became unconscious because of the heat in the province and so numerous elderly were taken to hospitals due to high blood pressure and heart attack.


Meantime, the central province of Quang Tri has the temperature of 46 Celsius degree but some districts were hit by power outages in the noon, children cried a lot that parents must take them to taxi for a tour. A violent dust storm in Quang Tri Town dashed people and transport in Highway No.1A.


A vortex along with heavy rain and thunder hit commune Que Phuoc and Phuoc Ninh in district Nong Son.


Pham Phu Thuy, deputy chairman of district People’s Committee, said the disaster had blown up many roofs and constructions and the local government had not yet reported damages from the vortex.


 

Source: SGGP

Giant oil spill in Alaska likely caused by ice

In World on December 10, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Officials believe that ice plugged up a pipeline and likely caused a rupture that sent 46,000 gallons of crude oil and water gushing onto snow-covered tundra on Alaska’s North Slope late last month.


The spill is one of the worst by volume since the March 2006 spill of 200,000 gallons of crude at Prudhoe Bay, the biggest spill ever on the North Slope, according to Department of Environmental Conservation figures.


BP spokesman Steve Rinehart said Wednesday that an ice buildup is likely to blame in the Nov. 29 spill, leading to an increase in pressure that caused the 18-inch diameter pipe to rupture.








In this Dec. 7, 2009 picture provided by the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, crews use steamer equipment to melt contaminated material for collection with a vacuum rig

Oil and water sprayed out of a 2-foot lengthwise rupture along the bottom of the pipe. Up to three-quarters of an acre of tundra was affected. Most of the oil and water congealed in a large pile under the pipe.


“There is a lot of material on the ground,” said Tom DeRuyter, the on-scene spill coordinator for the Alaska Department of Conservation.


The pipeline normally carried 75 percent water and 25 percent oil, as well as gas, to a processing center at the Lisburne oil field. It is not known what the percentages were when the line ruptured, Rinehart said.


Responders were using a variety of methods to clean up the spill. Methods include applying steam to loosen the congealed material and vacuum it up. Equipment also was brought in to scoop up the oil and frozen water and transport it to an area where it will be melted, separated and measured.


“That mechanical cleanup has proven to be pretty effective,” Rinehart said.


The ruptured pipeline, which is about 5 feet above the ground, is not affecting production from the Prudhoe Bay oil field, North America’s largest oil


Rinehart said the definitive reason for the most recent spill won’t be known until an investigation is completed.


BP is currently on probation for the 2006 spill after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor conviction and paying $20 million in fines and restitution. That spill was blamed on corrosion in a pipeline.


Rinehart said several weeks before the rupture the line was shut down because of restricted flowAnother larger pipeline adjacent to the pipe was handling the extra volume.


Rinehart said the paired pipelines were each equipped with individual temperature sensors near where the lines enter the processing center. He said he did not know if the sensors indicated there was a problem. A BP employee discovered the rupture in the line during a routine early morning inspection.


The line was last inspected in 2008 and found to be serviceable, he said.


After the rupture, the pipe was X-rayed and it was determined that there was approximately 1,300 feet between two large “ice plugs,” as the buildups are called. Engineers were considering methods for melting the plugs when it split. Those methods include applying heat, or introducing deicer and warm crude into the line.


Rinehart said ice plugs can form in pipelines and occasionally are a problem, even sometimes ending in a rupture.


“They are a feature of operating in the Arctic,” he said. “You try not to have them happen. When they do, you deal with them.”


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Late treatment caused swine-flu deaths in Vietnam, says official

In Vietnam Health on September 17, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Swine flu deaths have occurred in Vietnam because patients took Tamiflu pills too late, a health official said at a meeting held by the National Steering Board on Flu Prevention in Humans in Hanoi September 16.


Cao Hung Thai of the Ministry of Health’s Treatment Management Department said his and other agencies studied the fatalities and discovered that five out of the six victims also belonged to high-risk groups like people with chronic diseases and malnutrition. 








A teacher at Tran Quoc Tuan Primary School in Tan Binh District instructs students on warding off swine flu and protecting themselves from the disease (Photo: SGGP)

Moreover, they were taken too late to hospital that treatment with Tamiflu failed to be effective, he said.


Deputy Minister of Health Trinh Quan Huan feared that with swine flu becoming widespread, more people would be treated at local hospitals where treatment quality is low, and ordered the Human Flu Treatment Bureau to train workers at these centers in treatment procedures.


He instructed medical facilities to provide Tamiflu pill to people in high-risk groups without waiting for test results, warning it could otherwise be too late. Medical establishments must ensure adequate supply of the drug, he said.


Nguyen Tran Hien, director of the Central Institute of Hygiene Epidemiology, said the fact that 70 per cent of flu cases are testing positive for A/H1N1 flu shows that the virus is spreading among the wider community.


Meanwhile, authorities announced 144 more people tested positive for swine flu September 16, raising the total number in the country to 5,648. During the week 1,104 infections have been reported, an increase of 6.3 per cent compared to the previous week.


But the virus has so far shown no signs of mutating into more lethal forms, Mr. Hien said, though 12 nations have reported around 20 cases in which it has shown resistance to Tamiflu.


Mr. Huan said the peak season for the disease would be end 2009 and early 2010 and called for strengthening outbreak surveillance and providing early treatment to prevent its spread and deaths.


Vietnam has begun an initiative to raise its capacity in coping with A/H1N1 flu, a Red Cross official said in Hanoi September 16.


The “Humanitarian Pandemic Preparedness” (H2P) initiative, designed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, would last from August 2009 to July 2010, the chairman of the Vietnam Red Cross, Bui Ngoc Tang, said at the closing ceremony of a regional conference flu epidemics.


H2P would focus on health care, food safety, and livelihood at the community level, he added.


The Vietnam Red Cross also called on international and non-governmental organizations and Vietnamese partners to support the project.


H2P, with assistance from the US Agency for International Development, has been implemented in 20 countries threatened by the pandemic.


Also on September 16, the Ministry of Health urged the Ministry of Science and Technology to speed up research into the A/H1N1 vaccine and ordered the National Steering Board on Flu Prevention in Humans to provide enough Tamiflu pills for cities and provinces hardest hit.





Dr. Nguyen Van Chau, director of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Health, announced September 16 an outbreak of swine flu at Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Primary School in District 12 in which 30 children have been infected.

The district Department of Preventive Health has sprayed disinfectants at the school.

The city recorded September 16 more 36 cases of infection, taking the number of victims so far to 2,383.


Source: SGGP