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Relief aid accelerates as flood deaths hit 66

In Uncategorized on October 22, 2010 at 7:59 pm




Relief aid accelerates as flood deaths hit 66


QĐND – Friday, October 22, 2010, 23:13 (GMT+7)

The dead toll from the severe floods caused by heavy rain in the central region reached 66 on October 21, according to the Central Steering Committee for Flood and Storm Prevention and Control.


Ha Tinh province recorded the highest number of deaths of 32, Nghe An, 20, Quang Binh, nine, and Thanh Hoa, five.


Forty-four others have been injured and only eight were still missing, said the committee.


In the afternoon of October 21, rescuers recovered the bodies of 14 passengers drowned when their bus was swept away in flood waters in Ha Tinh province’s Nghi Xuan district.


The search was continuing for other passengers on the bus who may have floated away.


The Bao Viet insurance company in Ha Tinh, Nghe An and Dak Lak provinces initially paid VND25 million in insurance payouts for each victim in the accident.


At present, 120 communes and 38,029 households in Nghe An province are inundated, with 35 communes marooned.


As many as 183 communes and 175,110 households in Ha Tinh province and 16 communes and 53,520 households in Quang Binh province are still submerged.


On October 20, roads via Ha Tinh province were reopened to traffic while some portions of railway routes through Ha Tinh and Quang Binh provinces remained deeply inundated.


The same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and officials from the ministries of defence, public security, and agriculture and rural development made a fact-finding tour in Ha Tinh province.


The PM held a working session with authorities of the flood-hit localities to ensure necessary works were promptly carried out to overcome flood consequences and stabilize production and the local people’s life.


As many as 5,100kg of PUR, 6,000 kg of Cloramin B, 300,000 tablets of Aquatab, and 3,000 single use toilet bags were delivered to the flood-hit provinces to help process flooded water for daily use.


Transport workers have been deployed to clear land erosion sites on roads in these localities. They have also been posted at dangerous sites to guide traffic.


The Consular Department of the Foreign Ministry sent a telegraph to the Vietnamese Embassy in Brunei asking it to contact relevant agencies there to verify and process procedures for 16 fishermen aboard Boat QNg 96455-TS of Quang Ngai province, who were rescued by a Brunei rescue ship on October 19, to return home soon.


Source: VNA


Source: QDND

Experts warn of 10mln TB deaths in next five years

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:27 pm

AFP – A mother and her son wait for anti-tuberculosis pills at a clinic on October 13, 2010 in Alexandra township

JOHANNESBURG (AFP) – Ten million people will die of tuberculosis in the next five years if global funding to fight the disease is not increased, the Stop TB Partnership warned.


The Partnership, a coalition of governments, non-profits, companies and international organisations, said 47 billion dollars (34 billion euros) are needed to save five million lives between now and 2015, including two million women and children.


“We need a plan to stop these completely unnecessary deaths,” said Rifat Atun, chair of the Partnership’s coordinating board, at the launch of the coalition’s 2011-2015 “Global Plan to Stop TB”.


“If we are able to carry out this plan, we will treat 32 million people and save five million lives,” Atun said.


Each year, nine million people contract TB, which hits hardest in the developing world. Most cases occur in Asia (55 percent) and Africa (30 percent), with India and China alone accounting for 35 percent of all cases, the Partnership said.


Close to two million people die of the contagious lung infection each year — most from treatable cases, it said.


“Tuberculosis is an ancient disease. It should have been eliminated by today,” said Mario Raviglione, director of the World Health Organisation’s Stop TB department.


“The pandemic is slowly declining, but far too slowly.”


The Partnership called for renewed efforts to help the most vulnerable patients — the more than one million HIV positive people who contract TB each year and the 400,000 to 500,000 people who develop multi-drug resistant TB.


Half a million HIV positive people die from TB each year, a quarter of all AIDS deaths, said Paul de Lay, deputy executive director of UNAids.


“There is a terrible link between HIV and TB,” he said.


The coalition said 10 billion dollars are needed to fund research to develop a vaccine, new medications and faster and more effective testing. It said its goal by 2015 is to have three new drug regimens and four vaccines in Phase III clinical trials, the final step before drugs go to market.


It said funding to fight the disease has lagged in the past five years, adding that it needs to make up a funding shortfall of nine billion dollars from the last five-year cycle amid limited private-sector interest in the disease.


“Pharmaceutical companies don’t invest enough in TB because it’s not a profitable market,” said Christian Lienhardt, senior research advisor for the Partnership.


“It’s a poor people’s disease, so TB medication will never be a blockbuster.”


The Partnership said affected countries would not be able to fully fund the fight against TB, and called on international donors in high-income countries to kick in 2.8 billion dollars a year over the next five years to make up the funding gap.


Tuberculosis is a contagious bacterial infection that spreads by air. An infected person can spread the disease to about 15 other people per year.

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Source: SGGP

Agency seeks clarification on cause of mass fish deaths in Dong Nai River

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2010 at 2:31 pm

The Vietnam Environment Administration and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment ordered on June 29 that Ha Nam, Quang Ngai, Dong Nai and Tay Ninh provinces to explain the mass deaths of several fishes in the rivers that run through these regions by July 10.

Fishes of 52 floating fish cage farming households in Dong Nai River are all dead. (Photo: SGGP)

They also ordered these provinces to investigate the operation of manufacturing firms, which directly discharge wastewater into the rivers, evaluate damages to environment and economy and present solutions.


This move was made after Sai Gon Giai Phong Daily reported that fishes of 52 floating fish cage farming households in Dong Nai River were all dead.


In related news, representatives of Hiep Phuoc Industrial Park said that Hao Duong Leather Co., which has been continuously reported for discharging untreated wastewater, is in the process of connecting their own structures to the park’s central wastewater treatment system.


The park requested that wastewater treated by Hao Duong Co. must meet level C standard before joining the central system. Then, it would upgrade the wastewater into the level B category before discharging it into the Dien River, at a cost of VND5,000 per cubic meter.

Source: SGGP

Australia firm on Afghan mission despite deaths: PM

In Uncategorized on June 8, 2010 at 10:32 am

SYDNEY, June 8, 2010 (AFP) – Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd Tuesday said sending troops to Afghanistan remained an important mission for civilised nations, after 10 NATO soldiers died in the alliance’s deadliest day this year.


Two Australians killed by a roadside bomb during a patrol in the restive southern province of Uruzgan were among the 10 foreign soldiers who died in a rash of attacks on Monday.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announces the deaths of two Australian soldiers serving in Afghanistan during a press conference in Sydney on June 8, 2010. AFP photo

“This has a been a hard day, a difficult day for so many of our people in uniform and those in uniform from other lands,” Rudd said.


“There are families grieving today all around the world.


“But the mission… is an important mission for all civilised countries.”


Seven American troops also died on Monday in two bomb blasts and a small arms attack, while a French soldier was killed by a rocket attack, making it one of NATO’s deadliest days of the nine-year conflict.


Australia has about 1,550 troops in Uruzgan, making it the 10th biggest contributor to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).


Rudd, who has called the war “unpopular”, sent 450 reinforcements last year but has resisted Washington’s calls to provide more and Tuesday repeated his stance that Canberra’s commitment “is about right”.


“We have never extended a blank cheque when it comes to our troop commitment,” he told reporters in Sydney.


The prime minister said there were indications that Australian forces were making progress in the former Taliban heartland of Uruzgan, where they are mentoring Afghan National Army soldiers.


“But let us make no bones about it, this is a very tough and difficult continuing military campaign,” the prime minister said.


“And we are up against a determined and dangerous enemy. However, under no circumstances can Australians afford to allow Afghanistan to become a free operating training base for terrorist organisations in the future.


“Therefore our resolve must be firm and we must complete the mission that we have set for ourselves.”


Rudd said the security situation in Afghanistan was changing in some areas, but the deaths were a sobering reminder of the dangerous work of the military.


The Australian soldiers are the first Australians to die in 11 months, and their deaths bring to 13 the number killed in the campaign.


Acting Australian Defence Force chief David Hurley said one man died instantly after the roadside bomb exploded in the Mirabad Valley, and the second received emergency first aid but could not be saved.


A sniffer dog also died in the incident, which will be subject to a military investigation.


Asked whether the NATO-led coalition was winning against the insurgents after almost a decade of clashes, Hurley said: “Bodies aren’t going to tell whether you win or lose this war.


“Some good things are happening and we’re heading in the right direction.”


It was the first time since the Vietnam war that two Australian soldiers died in combat on the same day, Hurley said.

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Source: SGGP

US toll reaches 1,000 deaths in Afghanistan war

In Uncategorized on May 29, 2010 at 5:11 am

More U.S. military deaths in the last 10 months of the Afghan war than in the first five years of the conflict. More boots on the ground than in Iraq.


As the U.S. military death toll in the Afghan conflict reached the 1,000 mark, a fight that has become “Obama’s war” now faces its greatest challenge — a high-risk campaign to win over a hostile population in the Taliban’s southern heartland.


More casualties are expected when the campaign kicks into high gear this summer. The results may determine the outcome of a nearly nine-year conflict that has become the focus of America’s fight against Islamist militancy.

In this Nov. 19, 2001 file photo, Northern Alliance soldiers watch as U.S. air strikes pound Taliban positions in Kunduz province near the town of Khanabad, Afghanistan.

The 1,000 U.S. military death occurred in a roadside bombing Friday — just before the Memorial Day weekend when America honors the dead in all its wars.


A NATO statement did not identify or give the nationality of the victim. U.S. spokesman Col. Wayne Shanks said the trooper was American — the 32nd U.S. war death this month by an Associated Press count.


The list of U.S. service members killed in combat in Afghanistan begins with Sgt. 1st Class Nathan Ross Chapman of San Antonio, Texas, a 31-year-old career Special Forces soldier ambushed on Jan. 4, 2002, after attending a meeting with Afghan leaders in Khost province.

Source: SGGP

WHO warns of growing deaths in female smokers

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

Rain resumes in Rio and officials fear more deaths

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

Rains began pelting Rio again early Wednesday, hours after the heaviest deluge on record sent killer mudslides cascading down hillsides and turned streets into raging torrents in Brazil‘s second-biggest city.


Authorities feared the added water could dislodge more saturated ground and raise the death toll from 95 in Rio and the neighboring city of Niteroi. Most of the deaths came when landslides smashed over shacks in slums built precariously on steep slopes.


Huge red-brown paths of destruction slashed through shantytowns. Concrete and wooden homes were crushed and hurtled downhill, only to bury other structures.


Rio, which will host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, ground to a near halt as Mayor Eduardo Paes urged workers to stay home and ordered all schools closed. Most businesses were shuttered.

Firefighters rescue an injured man after a landslide in the Morro dos Prazeres area of the Santa Teresa neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro

Streets across the city were quiet as flooded roadways made travel nearly impossible even before rain started falling again before dawn.


Eleven inches (28 centimeters) of rain drenched Rio in less than 24 hours Tuesday, and the forecast called for more rain through the weekend, though it was expected to lessen.


Officials said potential mudslides threatened at least 10,000 homes in the city of 6 million people. Some 1,200 people were left homeless by Tuesday’s downpour.


Paes urged people in endangered areas to take refuge with family or friends and he said no one should venture out.


“It is not advisable for people to leave their homes,” the mayor said. “We want to preserve lives.”


He told the Web site of the newspaper O Globo that the rainfall was the most that Rio had ever recorded in such a short period. The previous high was nine inches (23 centimeters) that fell on Jan. 2, 1966.


President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva urged Brazilians to pray for the rain to stop.


“This is the greatest flooding in the history of Rio de Janeiro, the biggest amount of rain in a single day,” Silva told reporters in Rio. “And when the man upstairs is nervous and makes it rain, we can only ask him to stop the rain in Rio de Janeiro so we can go on with life in the city.”


A representative for the Rio de Janeiro fire department, which was coordinating rescue efforts, said 95 people were known dead and about 100 were injured.


“We expect the death toll to rise,” said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.


Claudio Ribeiro, a 24-year-old taxi driver, spent eight hours stranded on a highway Tuesday.


“I have never seen anything like this,” he said, wiping steam from the inside of his windshield to reveal a flooded roadway with hundreds of cars, taxis and buses packed together on high ground between raging torrents.


“Tell me, how is this city supposed to host the Olympics?” Ribeiro said. “Look at this chaos!”


Neither the 2014 World Cup nor the 2016 Olympics will be held during Brazil‘s rainy season. The rains normally fall during the Southern Hemisphere‘s summer in December through February, but the season has stretched into April this year.

Silva played down the possibility that similar downpours could wash out the biggest sporting events Brazil will ever host.

“Normally, the months of June and July are calmer, and Rio de Janeiro is prepared to host the Olympics and is prepared to host the World Cup with a lot of tranquility,” Silva said. “It’s not because of one catastrophe that we will think that it’s going to happen every year, or all the time.”

Rio 2016 organizers said in a statement that Tuesday’s rainfall was extremely unusual and could happen anywhere in the world. Organizers praised city and state authorities for responding quickly to the public safety crisis.

Source: SGGP

Rain resumes in Rio and officials fear more deaths

In Uncategorized on April 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

Rains began pelting Rio again early Wednesday, hours after the heaviest deluge on record sent killer mudslides cascading down hillsides and turned streets into raging torrents in Brazil‘s second-biggest city.


Authorities feared the added water could dislodge more saturated ground and raise the death toll from 95 in Rio and the neighboring city of Niteroi. Most of the deaths came when landslides smashed over shacks in slums built precariously on steep slopes.


Huge red-brown paths of destruction slashed through shantytowns. Concrete and wooden homes were crushed and hurtled downhill, only to bury other structures.


Rio, which will host the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics, ground to a near halt as Mayor Eduardo Paes urged workers to stay home and ordered all schools closed. Most businesses were shuttered.

Firefighters rescue an injured man after a landslide in the Morro dos Prazeres area of the Santa Teresa neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro

Streets across the city were quiet as flooded roadways made travel nearly impossible even before rain started falling again before dawn.


Eleven inches (28 centimeters) of rain drenched Rio in less than 24 hours Tuesday, and the forecast called for more rain through the weekend, though it was expected to lessen.


Officials said potential mudslides threatened at least 10,000 homes in the city of 6 million people. Some 1,200 people were left homeless by Tuesday’s downpour.


Paes urged people in endangered areas to take refuge with family or friends and he said no one should venture out.


“It is not advisable for people to leave their homes,” the mayor said. “We want to preserve lives.”


He told the Web site of the newspaper O Globo that the rainfall was the most that Rio had ever recorded in such a short period. The previous high was nine inches (23 centimeters) that fell on Jan. 2, 1966.


President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva urged Brazilians to pray for the rain to stop.


“This is the greatest flooding in the history of Rio de Janeiro, the biggest amount of rain in a single day,” Silva told reporters in Rio. “And when the man upstairs is nervous and makes it rain, we can only ask him to stop the rain in Rio de Janeiro so we can go on with life in the city.”


A representative for the Rio de Janeiro fire department, which was coordinating rescue efforts, said 95 people were known dead and about 100 were injured.


“We expect the death toll to rise,” said the official, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.


Claudio Ribeiro, a 24-year-old taxi driver, spent eight hours stranded on a highway Tuesday.


“I have never seen anything like this,” he said, wiping steam from the inside of his windshield to reveal a flooded roadway with hundreds of cars, taxis and buses packed together on high ground between raging torrents.


“Tell me, how is this city supposed to host the Olympics?” Ribeiro said. “Look at this chaos!”


Neither the 2014 World Cup nor the 2016 Olympics will be held during Brazil‘s rainy season. The rains normally fall during the Southern Hemisphere‘s summer in December through February, but the season has stretched into April this year.

Silva played down the possibility that similar downpours could wash out the biggest sporting events Brazil will ever host.

“Normally, the months of June and July are calmer, and Rio de Janeiro is prepared to host the Olympics and is prepared to host the World Cup with a lot of tranquility,” Silva said. “It’s not because of one catastrophe that we will think that it’s going to happen every year, or all the time.”

Rio 2016 organizers said in a statement that Tuesday’s rainfall was extremely unusual and could happen anywhere in the world. Organizers praised city and state authorities for responding quickly to the public safety crisis.

Source: SGGP

More deaths from unsafe water than from war: UN

In Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 at 5:16 am

 More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence, including war, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday in a message to mark World Water Day.


The United Nations children’s agency UNICEF noted that more than 155 million people, or 39 percent of the population in West and Central Africa, do not have access to potable water, with only eight of 24 countries in the region on track to meet key poverty-reduction targets by 2015.


“These deaths are an affront to our common humanity, and undermine the efforts of many countries to achieve their development potential,” Ban said as the issue was discussed at a high-level UN General Assembly dialogue.


“Day after day, we pour millions of tons of untreated sewage and industrial and agricultural wastes into the world’s water systems,” he said, noting that clean water has become scarce and would be even scarcer as a result of climate change.









File photo shows a girl carrying plastic jugs to fill up with water at the Shegerab refugee camp in the Kassala State, eastern Sudan in Feburary 2010.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raised the stakes, saying that global peace and security will depend on access to water.


“Access to reliable supplies of clean water is a matter of human security. It’s also a matter of national security,” she said.


Government stability and economic growth will always depend on countries’ ability to successfully manage water in a world where water resources grow scarcer by the day, the chief US diplomat added, urging rich countries to realize the importance of their role in the matter.


Ban stressed that the world has the know-how to solve the challenge and urged nations to “become better stewards of our water resources.”


UNICEF said the water situation in West and Central Africa “remains a major concern,” with the region home to the lowest coverage of potable water worldwide.


It said the total number of people in the region without access to improved potable water increased from 126 million to 155 million people from 1990 to 2008.


Despite an improvement in coverage from 49 percent in 1990 to 61 percent in 2008 — countries needed to reach 75 percent by 2015.


Six countries have less than 50 percent drinking water coverage: Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Niger, Mauritania and Sierra Leone.


Also of concern is the fact that 291 million people have absolutely no access to sanitation in West and Central Africa, the region with the highest under-five mortality rate of all developing regions at 169 child deaths per 1,000 live births.


The Nile River Basin, home to 180 million spread across 10 East African countries, is also largely mired in poverty and conflict, Clinton noted.


“Cooperative management of the basin’s water resources could increase economic growth — increase it enough to pull many of these countries out of poverty and provide a foundation for greater regional stability,” she said.


The theme of this year’s World Water Day, “Clean Water for a Healthy World,” highlights the fact that both the quality and the quantity of water resources are at risk.


Nine countries in Africa’s drought-affected Sahel region will meet in Chad on Thursday to find ways to manage scarce water supplies and protect people against food shortages, a Chad official told AFP on condition of anonymity.


The Permanent Interstate Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel — which groups Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Chad, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal — will focus on setting up a global coalition on managing water.

Many of the member countries have suffered drops in food production due to erratic rains.

“Without water, there will be no prospects for achieving all MDGs (Millennium Development Goals),” UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang said.

At a 2000 UN summit, world leaders set a 2015 deadline for achieving Millennium Development Goals.

These include eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, empowering women, reducing child mortality, and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases.





Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Health ministry announces 3 swine-flu deaths

In Vietnam Health on January 22, 2010 at 10:49 am








A sensor checks the body temperature of passengers at HCMC’s Tan Son Nhat Airport to detect suspected swine flu cases (File photo: Tuoi Tre)

The Ministry of Health said January 20 that three people died of swine flu, including two children.


A two-year-old girl in Tien Hai District, Thai Binh Province, died after contracting the A/H1N1 virus, which caused serious malnutrition and rickets.


The other child to die was an eight-year-old boy in Lang Son Province who was first transferred to the Bac Giang Hospital and then the Central Children’s Hospital in Hanoi where he passed away. 


The third death was that of a man, 39, in Y Yen District, Nam Dinh Province, who died after being transferred to the Central Tropical Diseases Hospital in Hanoi from the National Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, where he was being treated for a blood-related disease.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share