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Vietnam plans to put end to TB within 20 years

In Uncategorized on December 16, 2010 at 9:29 am

Vietnam plans to put end to TB within 20 years

QĐND – Friday, December 10, 2010, 20:52 (GMT+7)

Vietnam plans to eliminate tuberculosis (TB) by 2030, according to the National Tuberculosis Prevention (NTP) Programme.

The programme on Dec. 9 revealed its strategy for the next five years to reduce the prevalence of TB by half of the estimated incidence in 2000. It also aims to keep the multi-drug resistance (MDR) rate steady between now and 2015.

“TB epidemiology in Vietnam is still higher than the previous estimation of health experts. Thus, a significant number of TB cases remain undiagnosed or unreported and will continuously be sources of transmission,” said NTP Director Dinh Ngoc Sy.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Health, Vietnam still ranks 12th among 22 TB high burden countries and ranks 14th among 27 countries with a high burden of MDR-TB. The NTP estimated that Vietnam has about 200,000 TB cases of all forms, of which nearly 100,000 are new cases.

The number of TB cases detected and treated consistently remains under 60 percent of new cases annually. MDR-TB is about 20 percent of previously treated TB patients.

Vietnam will have to mobilise about 250 million USD of the total budget of 340 million USD from local and international donors to implement the National Tuberculosis Prevention Programme (NTP) in the next five years, Sy said.

“The State funding for the tuberculosis prevention programme only meets about 30 percent of the budget requirement,” he said.

The NTP said TB prevention activities have faced many challenges due to inadequate budget, lack of human resources, legal shortcomings, a weak health system and the impact of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

The programme has set targets for the 2011-15 period that ensure access to and provision of equitable, high-quality and basic directly observed treatment (DOT) services at all levels of the healthcare system; address TB/HIV, MDR-TB and TB control in prisons; integrate NTP into the health system; and mobilise the involvement of all economic sectors in the NTP fight.

WHO estimates there are about 2 million new TB cases worldwide, 93 percent of which are in Vietnam , the Philippines , Cambodia and China . In fact, 260,000 people die from TB each year in the Western Pacific region.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

BP did not put profit before safety on Gulf well: probe

In Uncategorized on November 9, 2010 at 6:22 am

Measures put in place as pig disease becomes widespread

In Uncategorized on August 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

Measures put in place as pig disease becomes widespread

QĐND – Saturday, August 14, 2010, 20:50 (GMT+7)

Localities are urgently tightening control of the transport and slaughtering of sick pigs in an effort to contain the blue-ear pig epidemic, which has spread to 21 provinces across the country.

The HCM City Municipal People’s Committee on August 13 urged key corporations and cattle processors to speed up the purchase, slaughtering and delivery of safe pork in the face of the spreading of the blue-ear pig disease.

It also asked the designated agencies to stockpile safe meat to ensure an adequate supply of pork products on the market after the epidemic wanes.

Farmers are running into difficulties with the purchase price of pigs having fallen dramatically to VND22,000/kg. Facing a big loss, they are not interested in investing in new pig herds, which could result in a serious shortage of safe meat on the market when the epidemic is contained.

The Municipal People’s Committee instructed its departments and districts to enhance the dissemination of information about the epidemic and preventative measures. It asked farmers, abattoirs and consumers not to hide outbreaks or purchase, sell and transport sick animals, or dispose of them in public places.

The committee also called for a tight control of transport and sales of animal products, especially pork, at street meet stalls, inter-provincial bus stations, wholesale markets and entrance gates to prevent products of unknown origin from penetrating the city.

Also on August 13, Long An province – a gateway to HCM City – declared the blue ear pig disease in Chau Thanh district. It warned the disease could spread rapidly to neighbouring communes and buffer zones, including Tan Chanh, Tan An, Phuoc Tuy, Nhut Ninh, Duc Tan, Anh Vinh Ngai and Binh Tam communes.

The provincial People’s Committee asked Chau Thanh district and Tan An city to establish taskforces to assist farmers in culling sick pigs.

The province banned the trading, slaughtering and transport of pigs and related products within the epidemic-affected areas. It has required the provincial Animal Health Department to quarantine outbreaks, disinfect farms, cull dead or sick pigs, and increase patrols at markets and gates to the province.

Local quarantine agencies have set up checkpoints along major arteries to the province, put up signposts at high-risks areas, and sterilized the means of transport coming into and going out of the affected localities.

Since the first case was detected in Tan Tan city on July 16, 2010, the porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus has attacked 61 communes, with 5,500 pigs infected.

In Dong Nai province – another gateway to HCM City, the provincial Animal health Department announced on August 13 that the disease has spread to Bac Son and Song Trau communes in Trang Bom district bordering Vinh Tan commune in Vinh Cuu district where the first case of infection was confirmed on July 29.

Bac Son and Vinh Tan communes have culled more than 2,000 sick pigs, however, Vinh Tan now has about 3,000 pigs testing positive for the PRRS virus.

On a fact-finding tour the same day, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Cao Duc Phat asked the provincial Animal Health Department to separate healthy animals from sick ones, cull all infected pigs, disinfect farms and apply the commercial breeding model.

Dong Nai has the largest number of pigs in Vietnam, about 1.4 million.

In the central coastal province of Khanh Hoa, blue-ear pig disease outbreaks have been confirmed in 36 communes of six districts and cities. Local animal health agencies have culled more than 1,300 sick pigs testing positive for the PRRS virus. Thousands of other pigs are under strict surveillance.

After declaring the epidemic on August 12, Khanh Hoa has established checkpoints along roads to Cam Ranh town and Khanh Son district where the disease has not yet been detected.

Across the country, the epidemic has spread to 21 provinces, namely: Nghe An, Cao Bang, Soc Trang, Tien Giang, Lao Cai, Long An, Binh Duong, Bac Lieu, Quang Nam, Dong Nai, Binh Phuoc, Da Nang, Vinh Long, Khanh Hoa, Dak Lak, Hau Giang, Lam Dong, Tay Ninh, Ba Ria Vung Tau, An Giang and Dong Thap.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Japanese investors stay put in Vietnam

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Japanese investors stay put in Vietnam

QĐND – Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 20:36 (GMT+7)

Vietnam continues to be an attractive destination for Japanese investors, said the third Vietnam-Japan economic seminar in Tokyo on August 3.

The seminar entitled “Japan’s overseas investment tendencies – Vietnam’s case” was attended by more than 70 Japanese economic experts and business people as well as visiting Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Planning and Investment Dang Huy Dong.

Addressing the seminar, senior economic expert Saori Sugeno from the Daiwa Institute of Research (DIR) of Japan said that Vietnam remains the second attractive destination for Asian investors, following China, and is becoming an important production workshop for the global supply system.

Investors have chosen Vietnam to reduce the risks of investing too much in China, said Sugeno, adding that they are also encouraged by increasing consumer spending and the recent launch of a series of large-scaled infrastructure development projects.

He, however, suggested the Vietnamese Government soon build a legal corridor for the public-private partnership model to attract more private capital for the State’s infrastructure projects.

The Vietnamese Government should further improve the investment environment as well as develop the capital market to attract indirect foreign investment and infrastructure investment funds, he added.

Deputy Director of the Asian and Ocean Division under the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO)’s Overseas Research Development Bureau Yuichi Bamba laid stress on socio-political stability, a large market with a high growth potential and an abundant and cheap workforce as Vietnam’s major advantages.

He quoted the results of JETRO’s recent studies which showed labour cost in Vietnam is the lowest compared with other ASEAN nations and the majority of Japanese businesses operating in Vietnam in 2010 are optimistic about business prospect in Vietnam after the global economic crisis.

Source: VNA

Source: QDND

Democrats put US climate change legislation plans on hold

In Uncategorized on July 23, 2010 at 11:18 am

WASHINGTON, July 22, 2010 (AFP) – Democratic lawmakers scrapped plans Thursday to introduce climate change legislation, recognizing they do not have enough votes and preparing instead an energy bill addressing the BP oil spill.

“Unfortunately, at this time, not one Republican wants to join us in achieving this goal” of adopting a comprehensive climate bill, said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “That isn’t just disappointing. It’s dangerous.”

President Barack Obama has made climate change legislation a key priority, and told Americans during an Oval Office address in June that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was a sign of the urgent need for energy alternatives.

He called the disaster “the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now” and urged Americans to “seize control of our own destiny.”

But Republicans have balked at sweeping energy reform, arguing that policies like “cap-and-trade,” intended to limit harmful emissions, will cost American businesses and hobble US innovation.

In the face of unified opposition, and lacking the 60-vote supermajority needed to pass legislation without Republican votes, Reid and Democratic Senator John Kerry said they would focus on a narrower bill for now.

“To be clear: we are not putting forth this bill in place of a comprehensive bill,” Reid said.

“But we will not pass up the opportunity to hold BP accountable, lessen our dependence on oil, create good paying American jobs and protect the environment.”

Kerry said he would continue to work with Independent Senator Joe Lieberman toward comprehensive legislation that targets carbon emissions “so that we can send signals to the marketplace and change the direction and create jobs for America and improve our security.”

The less ambitious legislation being developed would directly address the catastrophic oil spill triggered by an explosion aboard the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon rig on April 20.

It would seek to ensure that BP assumes all the costs of cleaning up spilled oil, propose measures to prevent similar environmental disasters and help create more “green jobs” in clean energy production.

The measures had originally been intended to be included in a broader climate and energy bill, and, unlike cap-and-trade, enjoy Republican support, Reid insisted. The House of Representatives passed a bill that included a cap-and-trade system in June 2009.

Talks on a climate bill could be revived this fall, ahead of crucial mid-term elections in November, lawmakers said.

“We will continue to work with the senators to craft important comprehensive legislation,” White House Director of Energy Policy Carol Browner said after meeting with Senate Democrats.

Kerry, a key player in climate negotiations, said he was “absolutely confident” a comprehensive measure could be passed swiftly, and would not suffer the same fate as comprehensive health care reform, enacted earlier this year after decades of bitter political bickering.

Environmentalists, though, said more needed to be done.

“The failure to price carbon leaves a giant hole in US energy and climate policy, and the long-term cost to the United States will be enormous,” said Rafe Pomerance, founder of Clean Air-Cool Planet.

Union of Concerned Scientists president Kevin Knobloch said the Senate has an “absolute responsibility to act on climate change this year.”

Source: SGGP

The 9th Hoan My clinic put in operation

In Uncategorized on May 27, 2010 at 5:08 am

Karzai, Obama put on show of unity

In Uncategorized on May 13, 2010 at 4:54 am

President Barack Obama insisted that flared tensions between the US and Afghan governments were “overstated” as Afghan leader Hamid Karzai staged an effusive show of support for US war goals.

The leaders met amid pomp at the White House after awkward public exchanges which strained their alliance and complicated Obama’s gamble on a 30,000 strong troop surge designed to forge a US exit from the Afghan battlefield.

“There are going to be tensions in such a complicated, difficult environment and in a situation in which, on the ground, both Afghans and Americans are making enormous sacrifices,” Obama said.

“With respect to perceived tensions between the US government and the Afghan government … a lot of them were simply overstated.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (L) shakes hands with US President Barack Obama during a press conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC.

The leaders met in the Oval Office then held a press conference, which was both a public bonding session and an effort by Obama to convince wary Americans that the grinding progress of a war now in its ninth year was genuine.

Karzai put on an assured political performance, at odds with his tirades just weeks ago against foreign interference.

His latest White House appearance came nearly nine years after the September 11 attacks, which prompted the United States to launch war in Afghanistan and Pakistan border areas against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

Karzai also shrugged off recent spats.

“We are in a campaign against terrorism together, there are days that we are happy. There are days that we are not happy,” said Karzai, wearing his trademark green cloak and sheepskin hat in the ornate East Room of the White House.

Only weeks ago, top Obama aides said Karzai’s claims that foreigners plotted fraud in Afghan elections were cause for “genuine” concern, and said before the president was in Kabul in March that Karzai must do more to fight corruption.

But on Wednesday Obama smoothed over that row, noting “progress” by Karzai on anti-corruption efforts, improved governance, and work towards credible parliamentary elections later this year.

“Of course, President Karzai and I both acknowledge that much more work needs to be done,” Obama said.

Karzai pointedly promised to husband billions of dollars of US aid.

“I can reassure you that we will work with dedication and extreme care to have those resources spent well and in place for a better future for the Afghan people,” he said.

Obama said he was confident that slow but steady progress would allow him to meet his goal of beginning to draw down US troop numbers by July 2011, and was also “encouraged” by Pakistan’s actions against extremists.

In one extraordinary moment, Karzai and Obama stood face to face, a few feet apart, as the Afghan leader described his encounter with a wounded US warrior at a military hospital on Tuesday.

“It was a very difficult moment for me, Mr. President … a very, very young man, who had lost two arms and legs. It was heart-rending.”

In another overt show of respect for US “sacrifices,” Karzai was Thursday due to visit Arlington Cemetery where many US Afghan war dead are buried.

Obama also provided an emotionally charged moment, offering Karzai, who has complained repeatedly at Afghan civilian casualties, a glimpse of the burden of being commander-in-chief.

“Let me be very clear about what I told President Karzai. When there is a civilian casualty, that is not just a political problem for me.

“I am ultimately accountable … that is something that I have to carry with me…. I don’t want civilians killed,” he said.

Karzai later made the rounds on Capitol Hill and pleaded for patience in his much criticized fight against corruption. Most senators gave him positive reviews in talks with reporters.

“We didn’t notice any scars,” said Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, a Democrat.

“Sounds like things are on a very even keel, very positive, we didn’t see any evidence of any lingering problem,” he said.

The Afghan leader said his effort was “something that we keep doing every day, but you don’t see the results here in America, or the rest of the world, on a daily basis.”

Obama also voiced support for Karzai’s efforts to woo wavering Taliban members back into Afghan society, but only if they renounced Al-Qaeda and violence.

A US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Karzai wanted to negotiate a security agreement that would ensure a US commitment to Kabul beyond July 2011, when the US military drawdown is scheduled to begin.

Source: SGGP

Red Shirts put lives on hold to camp out in Bangkok

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2010 at 7:33 am

BANGKOK, April 14, 2010 (AFP) – Farmer Srian Paengsun’s crops have withered in the month he has spent camped in the Thai capital with thousands of red-shirted demonstrators, but he says it’s a price worth paying.

“My rice fields are all dead. My wife didn’t have the energy to farm them. But even though the crop is gone, this is worth it. This is what I want to do,” he says at the sprawling rally site in Bangkok’s historic district.

The 43-year-old from northeastern Surin province is one of thousands of “Red Shirt” protesters who have been occupying two key areas of the city in their bid to force Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to call immediate elections.

Red Shirt anti-government protesters stand next to abandoned Thai army armoured vehicles as a police officer (C) passes by at the Democracy Monument as the anti-government rally continues in central Bangkok on April 14, 2010. AFP photo

The rally sites have been fitted out with tents, canteens and large stages, where loudspeakers blast out a mixture of fiery anti-government rhetoric and country folk music.

Red Shirts have set up makeshift toilets hooked up to the local water systems, brought in trailers equipped with showers and use washing facilities at nearby temples and hospitals.

Despite a crackdown by security forces on Saturday that left 21 people dead and more than 800 wounded, Reds continue to trickle in to join the protests, which have blocked traffic and caused many shops to shut.

“Since we got news the army shot Red Shirts, more people want to come out,” says 45-year-old Chalpramon Chonpasin, who joined the demonstrations this week.

Despite sweltering temperatures near 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), organisers say about 30,000 Red Shirts have been sleeping at an encampment around Democracy Monument in the area that was the scene of the violence.

Another 20,000 have been camped out at a second enclave in the commercial district, which has been mostly peaceful, often with a carnival atmosphere.

The demonstrators said Wednesday they would merge the two sites, converging on the commercial hub, home to a clutch of five-star hotels and major shopping centres.

Many Reds are seeking the return of fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra, hailing his policies for the masses including cheap healthcare, and are refusing to go home until the government dissolves parliament.

Tiang Chaisena, 55, a farmworker who came in a neighbour’s pickup truck from Chanthaburi in central Thailand, says she has been sleeping on a plastic sheet on a Bangkok street since the mass demonstrations began on March 12.

“It’s not comfortable but we need to stay and fight. Everyone who comes here sleeps like this. It’s very hot, but we need to stay,” she says.

At a table behind the main stage in the historic district, organiser Somwan Asarasee collects Red Shirt donations, which he says go to transport, food, generators and tent rentals.

Enterprising vendors also sell food, red neckerchiefs, T-shirts and flip-flops, along with the red plastic foot and heart-shaped clappers that have become one of the quirky symbols of Thailand’s anti-government movement.

Chawan Chairat, 43, closed her Bangkok karaoke bar to join the Red Shirts, but decided to make some cash selling mango salads and soft drinks from a stand in the middle of the road.

“I come to the demonstration every day and I lose a lot of money, so I thought it would be a good idea to have something to sell,” she says.

At a first aid tent, former nurse Suksuipon Boonchuay, 40, says she helps treat 200 to 300 people each day, mostly for heat exhaustion or the effects of air pollution.

“More and more people come every day because we have fought for a long time,” she says.

Although they are dubbed “rural hordes” by one local paper, Red Shirts say they have travelled from both near and far in their bid to oust Abhisit’s government.

Teerachai Chaipayak, 25, a Bangkok law student attending a rally for his third time, says his parents disapprove of his Red Shirt support.

“They say, don’t come here and they say they want to cut me from the family. I think they’re just kidding, but there’s some truth to the words.”

Source: SGGP

Early marriages put stress on ethnic families

In Politics-Society on March 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Early marriages put stress on ethnic families

QĐND – Thursday, March 18, 2010, 20:45 (GMT+7)

Girls in an ethnic minority village only 110km northwest of Ho Chi Minh City are still getting married and having children at as early as the age of 13.

“One out of ten households in the village will marry-off their daughters at an early age,” said Dinh Thi Loan, deputy head of a village in An Khuong Commune in southern Binh Phuoc province’s Binh Long town.

Loan pointed to a lack of male workers and old customs as the main reasons for teenage marriages.

Parents of young girls in the S’tieng ethnic group in the mountainous area around Binh Long town have been organising marriages for their young daughters for generations.

The hope that the new husband will work on the family farm is one of the main reasons quoted by S’tieng people for continuing the practice.

Four years ago a mother in An Khuong commune named Gai, 35, decided not to listen to advice from her peers and arranged a marriage for her 15-year-old daughter who had just finished elementary school.

Gai, who was a child bride herself at 15, and is now widowed with five children, argued that by organising her teenage daugher’s wedding she was only following tradition and that others shouldn’t interfere.

Her motivation was to recruit a workman into the family farm business to support her as the main breadwinner.

Her plan backfired, however, when her new son-in-law, also a teenager, decided to hang out with his friends instead of working the land.

Instead of an extra pair of hands on the farm, Gai got a new grandson and has another one on the way.

Ut, one of Gai’s neighbours, also married-off her four daughters – all at age 15. All the daughters had to drop out of school abruptly to get married at their mother’s request.

It has been tough on Ut financially. Her land has been divided into pieces as dowries for her daughters, leaving her with little land to support her sick father and her youngest daughter’s family.

It was a common story in the town that teenage wives were too young and irresponsible to be able to take proper care of their reproductive health and children.

Many of the teenage brides were not aware that they were pregnant when their bellies began to bulge, and they ate herbs that are dangerous during pregnancy, according to Nguyen Thi Kim Nga, head of the communal clinic.

Nga said some of the young girls have given birth in the fields.

In an effort to stop the practice of young teenagers becoming brides, the commune’s Women’s Association set up an organization against teen brides which has 100 women members in the village.

The women have pledged not to marry off their sons and daughters until they are older and are trying to persuade other women in the village to do the same.

Source: VOV

Source: QDND

Five-star Defoe as Spurs put nine past Wigan

In Vietnam Sports on November 23, 2009 at 10:18 am

LONDON, Nov 22, 2009 (AFP) – Jermain Defoe scored five goals as Tottenham Hotspur thrashed Wigan Athletic 9-1 at White Hart Lane here on Sunday, a record victory for the hosts in the top-flight.

Spurs were only 1-0 up at the break, thanks to a goal by Peter Crouch before fellow England striker Defoe ran riot after half-time with Aaron Lennon, an own-goal by Chris Kirkland and Niko Kranjcar’s 90th minute effort adding to the North London club’s tally.

Although Defoe seemed certain to grab the headlines for his five goal return, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp said Lennon had made a key contribution to this thumping win.

Tottenham Hotspurs’ Jermain Defoe (C) shoots past Wigan Athletic’s Titus Bramble (L) during the Premiership match at White Hart Lane in London on November 22, 2009. Tottenham won the game 9-1 with Jermain Defoe scoring five second-half goals (AFP photo)

“I thought we started really bright, we had 25 minutes where we really got off after them in the first half before they came back into it,” Redknapp told Sky Sports.

“We came in at half-time and said we had to get back to how we started, pressing them all over the park, and we decided to work them and made the opportunities and took them.

“Their keeper (Chris Kirkland) made some great saves as well.

“Lennon is a fantastic talent, anybody would have had a hard day with him in that sort of form. He deserved that goal at the end.”

Speaking about Defoe, Redknapp added: “For Jermain to get five goals was an outstanding performance.

“Yesterday (Saturday) in training he looked so sharp and I felt if he could carry that into the game he would be a real handful.

“You don’t get too many nines in the Premier League, it’s a bad day for Roberto Martinez but he’ll come back even stronger.”

Wigan manager Martinez added: “We finished the first half very strongly and looked like a team who were going to dictate things.

“But we have ourselves to blame for the goals we conceded and after that you are climbing a mountain.”

Tottenham’s haul was all the more impressive as Redknapp decided to rest striker Robbie Keane after the Republic of Ireland international’s involvement in the controversial midweek World Cup playoff loss to France.

Wigan could have been forgiven for agreeing to put this match back by 24 hours following the international break as their defence took a pummelling.

Spurs went ahead in the ninth minute when Crouch headed home a cross from Lennon.

Kirkland then had to be alert to deny both Lennon and former Wigan favourite Wilson Palacios.

Defoe, who hit the crossbar before half-time, led a rout in the second half with a hat-trick in seven minutes.

From Lennon’s cross, he got in front of Titus Bramble to shoot into the roof of the net before he slotted home at the far post after the Wigan defence failed to cut out Palacios’s centre.

Paul Scharner then pulled one back for Wigan although the Austrian midfielder clearly used his hand to control the ball before shooting past Heurelho Gomes.

Tottenham protested to referee Peter Walton but barely a minute later Defoe had his hat-trick as Spurs’ three-goal lead was restored when he volleyed in Lennon’s cross.

Lennon himself added a fifth after Crouch did well to find the winger in a congested penalty area.

Defoe grabbed his fourth 21 minutes from time by scoring off the post after latching on to Vedran Corluka’s through ball and had a fifth late on when he shot through Kirkland’s legs.

David Bentley’s free-kick then appeared to hit both the bar and Kirkland before going in and, in the closing seconds, Kranjcar’s shot went in off the woodwork.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share