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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

Fifth flood hit central region within one month

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Fifth flood hit central region within one month

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 9:29 am

Economic growth rate of 6.5 percent within reach

In Uncategorized on August 4, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Economic growth rate of 6.5 percent within reach

QĐND – Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 20:41 (GMT+7)


Results recorded over the past seven months will provide an important foundation for fulfilling all socio-economic development targets for this year, achieving an economic growth rate of 6.5 percent.

All ministries, sectors and localities need to exert greater efforts to stablise the macro economy by controlling prices and combating speculation and price rigging, said Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at a government regular meeting on August 3-4.

At the meeting, cabinet members discussed the socio-economic status in July and during the past seven months, the world’s economic situation, the Government’s activities in July, issues related to inspection, complaints and denunciations, anti-corruption, administrative reform and a report on the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin).

Over the past seven months, targets of stabilising the macroeconomy and curbing inflation have been fulfilled and remarkable progress has been made in the mobilisation and disbursement of investment capital, agriculture, social welfare, administrative reform,  anti-corruption, foreign affairs and national security and defense.

During the seven-month period, investment capital from the State budget reached VND77,600 billion, equivalent to 62 percent of the yearly plan. Total export turnover hit US$ 38.8 billion, up 17.5 percent over the same period last year. Import surplus fell to US$ 7.4 billion, accounting for 19.45 percent of the country’s total export turnover.

Market prices and inflation were put under strict control and the consumer price index (CPI) in the first seven months rose 8.67 percent over the same period last years, except for a slight increase of 0.06 percent in July. The seven-month industrial production value soared 13.5 percent over a year earlier and exceeded the target set for this year.

PM Dung pointed out pending issues and difficulties facing the national economy, such as relatively high trade deficit, soaring prices of materials, lack of capital, high interest rates and natural disasters and epidemics.

Mr Dung asked cabinet members to direct other cabinet members devise effective measures for the economic-related targets set for 2010.

He also requested ministries, sectors and localities to intensify industrial-agricultural production and service, expand domestic and export markets, accelerate the disbursement of investment capital, prepare capital construction plans for the 2011-2015 period, be active in coping with natural disasters and epidemics and enhancing administrative reform.

The Government leaders underlined the need to ensure security for international conferences and major national celebrations such as the 1000th anniversary of Thang Long-Hanoi and Party congresses at all levels in the lead-up to the 11th National Party Congress.

Cabinet members touched upon issues related to Vinashin and gave their opinions on a project for solutions and policies to increase the quality of growth, efficiency and competitiveness in the national economy as well as a project to develop Vietnam’s  information and technology industry, and communication and other important draft laws.

Source: VOV. Photo:

Source: QDND

BP boss ‘could resign within days’

In Uncategorized on July 25, 2010 at 11:17 am

The boss of troubled oil giant BP, Tony Hayward, is poised to quit within days, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported.

Hayward, who has been heavily criticised over his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill crisis, is set to step down before BP announces its half-year results Tuesday, the paper said.

The boss of troubled oil giant BP, Tony Hayward, is poised to quit within days, the Sunday Telegraph newspaper reported

Reports have suggested for days that Hayward would resign at some point in the coming weeks as British-based BP battles to recover its reputation in the wake of the spill.

The Sunday Telegraph said that there could be wrangling over Hayward’s severance package, under which he is likely to be paid a minimum figure just over a million pounds.

BP has said that Hayward “has the support of the board and management” but has declined to make further comment on media reports.

Source: SGGP

Pope says Church ‘persecution’ comes from within

In Uncategorized on May 11, 2010 at 4:52 pm

LISBON (AFP) – A penitent Pope Benedict XVI referred to the paedophile priest scandal rocking the Catholic Church as he began a four-day trip to Portugal Tuesday, saying the Church’s “greatest persecution” came from its own “sin”.

“Today the greatest persecution of the Church does not come from outside, but from the sin inside the Church itself,” the pope told journalists aboard his plane before his arrival in Lisbon.

The 83-year-old pontiff, who met alleged victims of priestly sex abuse during a visit to Malta last month, said the Church’s forgiveness could not replace the need for justice.

Pope Benedict XVI reviews the honour guard upon his arrival at Lisbon airport. AFP photo

He said the Church had a “profound need” to “learn forgiveness and also the necessity of justice,” underlining that “forgiveness does not replace justice.”

The comments were the strongest yet on the issue from Benedict, whose five-year-old papacy has been rocked by allegations that the Vatican for years protected paedophile priests from prosecution in several European countries and in the United States.

The months-long scandal, which has seen bishops offer their resignation in Ireland and Germany, has overshadowed preparations for his four-day visit to overwhelmingly Catholic Portugal.

Wearing an ivory robe with a golden crucifix around his neck, a tired-looking Benedict walked gingerly down the gangway steps to be met by Portugal’s President Anibal Cavaco Silva and his wife Maria.

The president welcomed the pope to a “free and plural Portugal” whose people, he said, have “a calling to recognise the value of diversity”.

The centre-right president is due to decide next week whether to sign into law a bill passed by parliament which would make Portugal the sixth country to allow same-sex marriage.

Church authorities in Portugal said Benedict was likely to call on Portugal to uphold Christian values and urge solidarity across Europe’s struggling economies.

“I come as a pilgrim to Our Lady of Fatima,” the pope said in his speech on the airport tarmac.

Tens of thousands of festive Portuguese lined the leafy suburbs of Lisbon as Benedict took an eight-kilometre (five mile) ride aboard his white bullet-proof popemobile to the papal nunciature.

Pilgrims waved yellow and white Vatican flags and the red and green colours of Portugal as the pope passed by, raising his hands in acknowledgement.

“Viva o Papa,” the crowd chanted as he arrived at the nunciature and cautiously climbed down from the vehicle, before raising his arms in greeting.

Later Tuesday, Benedict is to pray in the chapel at the 16th century Jeronimos monastery in Lisbon, the burial site of the great Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama renowned for its religious carvings which have made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

He was also to pay a brief courtesy visit to the presidential Belem palace.

In the evening, the Portuguese Church expects up to 160,000 pilgrims to attend an open-air mass with Benedict in the historic Terreiro do Paco square on the banks of the Tagus.

“The pope will encourage institutions to lend a hand and show solidarity during difficult times,” said Carlos Azevedo, the auxiliary bishop of Lisbon and the visit’s chief organiser.

“Europe needs to be awoken, there is a lack of strong values. If there was greater ethical conscience, we would not have arrived at the current economic disaster.”

Tuesday evening’s mass is one of three giant gatherings scheduled for the visit, the “heart” of which, according to the Vatican, will be his stop in Fatima, the site where three shepherd children reported seeing visions of the Virgin Mary in 1917.

The pope’s visit to the sanctuary town comes exactly 10 years after his predecessor John Paul II beatified two of the children at the site, bringing them one step from sainthood.

A third open-air mass is to be held in the northern city of Oporto on Friday, shortly before the pope returns to Rome.

Source: SGGP

Obama wants Iran sanctions within ‘weeks’

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2010 at 6:50 am

US President Barack Obama said Tuesday he wanted tough new UN sanctions imposed on Iran within “weeks” as visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy blasted Tehran’s “mad” nuclear race.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, left, speaks as President Barack Obama, right, listens, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 30, 2010. (AFP Photo)

But Obama admitted that key world powers had “not yet” closed wide gaps on the specifics of the biting new measures, as he and Sarkozy made an apparently coordinated effort to up pressure on China and Russia for action.

“My hope is that we are going to get this done this spring,” Obama said, warning, as he faces rising domestic pressure on the issue, that he was not interested in waiting months for the new United Nations measures to be imposed.

“I am interested in seeing that regime in place within weeks,” Obama said during a joint press conference with Sarkozy which saw both leaders go out of their way to profess US-French friendship.

Sarkozy indicated after his closed Oval Office talks with Obama that months of diplomacy to prepare the way for sanctions must now come to fruition.

“The time has come to take decisions. Iran cannot continue its mad race,” Sarkozy said, adding that Europe would stand united in the push for sanctions.

The joint presidential pressure came as G8 foreign ministers meeting in Canada urged “in the strongest possible terms” that Iran cooperate with five permanent UN Security Council members plus Germany.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton predicted the next few weeks would see “intense negotiation” in the Security Council on Iran, which the West suspects of developing nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

The Obama administration has spent months trying to convince China, which has been reluctant to embrace tough sanctions on Iran, to join the international effort.

Russia has been more amenable, but it is still unclear whether Moscow will embrace the “biting” measures envisaged by Washington.

“Do we have unanimity in the international community? Not yet. And that’s something that we have to work on,” Obama said, admitting that Iran was a major oil producer and had a plethora of commercial partners.

Sarkozy and Obama said their talks also covered a long list of international issues, including Afghanistan, US peace efforts in the Middle East and the global economic recovery.

The French leader said it was “great news” that the Obama administration had now made financial reform its top priority.

The issue has provoked friction between Washington and Europe, with the United States less willing to call for stringent efforts to regulate global hedge funds than some key leaders in Europe.

Obama also promised that a Pentagon tender for a new airborne tanker for the US air force would be “free and fair.”

Sarkozy said he trusted Obama, and that the European aerospace giant EADS would resubmit a bid, following a row over claims the United States was favoring US-based Boeing for the contract.

Both leaders sought to scotch rumors of bad chemistry between them, calling one another by their first names, ahead of an intimate dinner hosted by the Obamas for Sarkozy and ex-supermodel wife Carla Bruni.

Obama called Sarkozy “my dear friend,” while Sarkozy appeared eager to end years of US-French tensions.

“There may be disagreements, but never for the wrong reasons. And as we are very transparent on both sides, there’s confidence, there’s trust,” he said before the two presidents walked out of the press conference with hands over each other’s shoulders.

The Sarkozys took time to sample the culinary delights of the US capital, stopping in at famed restaurant “Ben’s Chili Bowl,” which Obama has also visited, to eat half-smoke hot dogs.

The two leaders met at divergent moments of their political fortunes.

Sarkozy was forced to backtrack on some of his signature reforms, and suffered a humiliation in recent regional elections.

But Obama is reveling in his historic health reform law and clinched a landmark nuclear arms reduction deal with Russia last week.

The private dinner between the couples marks the first time a foreign leader has dined with the Obamas in their private residence at the White House and is seen as a fence-mending exercise after Obama bowed out of a European summit.

“You invite an important head of state to a state dinner, but a friend you invite to your home,” said one western diplomat.

But the White House denied it was going out of its way to satisfy Sarkozy with presidential trappings.

“It doesn’t seem totally out of the ordinary,” Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said.

The French couple left the White House late Tuesday after their two-hour dinner and headed to Andrews Air Force base where they caught their flight back to Paris.


Source: SGGP