Vietnam mulls recognizing sex reassignment

Pham Le Quynh Tram (left), a transgender teacher, is pictured during one of her classes. Photo:

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has proposed either not acknowledging gender reassignment, as it has always been the case before, or permitting the practice on a selective basis. Nguyen Huy Quang, head of the Legislation Department under the Ministry of Health, said on Thursday that the ministry is currently giving its opinions on the draft of the revised Civil Code. The ministry has suggested two ways to deal with the gender reassignment issue. One is not acknowledging gender reassignment as before, while the other alternative is allowing the procedure but on a selective basis. Pham Le Quynh Tram, a transgender teacher who lives in Ho Chi Minh City, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper her elation at the Ministry of Health’s growing interest in the transgender community by putting forward such proposals. Tram, who was born as a male under the name Pham Van Hiep, revealed the mental agony she was through to become a real, fulfilled woman as she is now. "All local … [Read more...]

Social News 3/2

String of activities mark 85th anniversary of Vietnam Communist Party A series of activities have been held across the country in the presence of Party and State senior leaders to celebrate the 85th founding anniversary of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) (February 3, 1930-2015). On February 1, Politburo member and Vice Chairwoman of the Vietnam National Assembly, Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan led a delegation of Party Central Committee members to visit former President Nguyen Minh Triet; former Prime Minister Phan Van Khai; and Senior lieutenant General and Hero of the People's Armed Forces Phan Trung Kien, who are living in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong province. Politburo member Ngan hoped that the former leaders will continue to make further contributions to the nation. On the same day, authorities of Ho Chi Minh City presented and bestowed the State title of 'Heroic Vietnamese Mother' to 288 women in Ho Chi Minh City. Politburo member and Secretary of Ho Chi Minh City's Party … [Read more...]

Cheap Chinese products sell for big money under faux European labels in Vietnam

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Counterfeit kitchenware items being sold by Romal Vietnam at a store in Bac Ninh Province. Photo: Manh Quan Teams of consumer affairs inspectors have launched a nationwide crackdown after discovering that a company in Hanoi had been engaged in passing off counterfeit Chinese appliances as European. The products included gas ranges, electric stovetops, ovens and blow dryers. Romal Vietnam distributed the goods via online portals, local supermarkets and shopping centers in many cities and provinces, according to the National Steering Committee for Combating Smuggling, Commercial Fraud and Counterfeit Goods (aka Committee 389). The Committee has instructed relevant agencies to inspect Romal Vietnam’s branch outlets and its products nationwide. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Public Security has summoned the company's director, Nguyen Thi Ninh, and her husband Nguyen Huy Tho for questioning. On January 22, relevant agencies raided a Romal Vietnam retail shop in Hanoi and seized … [Read more...]

More victims of doctor dumping client’s body hospitalized

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Five more patients of Dr. Nguyen Manh Tuong, who had thrown the body of a woman who died following a cosmetic surgery at his own beauty salon into a river, have been given checkups and hospitalized. http://tuoitrenews.vn/society/14343/doctor-allegedly-throws-dead-customer-into-river According to Dr. Nguyen Huy Tho, former head of Hospital 108's Plastic Surgery Department, two of them had their nose bridge raised and thigh fat taken out at Tuong's Cat Tuong salon and recently showed complications. Tho added that he and his staff are willing to provide checkups and counseling to any of Tuong's patients. Despite the tremendous efforts by professional divers to search for the body of 37-year-old Le Thi Thanh Huyen, which was thrown into the Hong (Red) river by Tuong and his security guard, it remained nowhere to be found. Several who claimed to be psychics also offered help with the search but too failed to locate Huyen's body. The police and the victim's family will expand the … [Read more...]

Inspectors go after wierd Chinese ‘massage’ bras

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Market managers from across Vietnam are on the hunt for Chinese bras. A bra pad advertized as "silicone with balls" with "massage effects" has been found in low-quality Chinese bras sold across Vietnam They are inspecting bras at retailers across the country after several women complained that a popular type of Chinese-made bra -- the advertising of which claims that special massage technology will enhance breast shape and size -- made them itchy and irritated their skin to the point of rash. The bras have been found in Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, and many central region provinces. Most cost between VND55,000-90,000 (US$2.64-4.32) but some in Ho Chi Minh City cost VND500,000. They contain small plastic bags of an oily solution advertised as silicone, which has plastic balls told to give a massage effect that boost breast size without plastic surgery. Le Phuoc from Ho Chi Minh City told Tuoi Tre he had checked the solution in the bra he bought for his wife and it felt itchy. A … [Read more...]

BUSINESS IN BRIEF 28/3

Canadian businesses eye Thai Nguyen market More than 100 Canadian and foreign businesses in Canada attended at a seminar in Toronto on March 22 to seek and expand investment cooperation in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen. At the opening ceremony, Secretary of the Thai Nguyen Provincial Party Committee Pham Xuan Duong emphasized that the event offered an opportunity for Thai Nguyen and Canadian businesses to introduce their policies and potential for investment cooperation. Margaret Vokes, South Asia Area Director at the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation, conveyed best regards from Minister Brad Duguid, stressing that the event provided participants with updated information and opened up opportunities for doing business and boosting relations for mutual benefit. Duong Ngoc Long, chairman of the provincial People's Committee, answered businesses' questions related to the province's policies, formalities and the advantages of investment. … [Read more...]

Real estate brokerages switch to selling … noodles

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After mushrooming during the prime time of the real estate sector in 2007, many property brokerages in Ho Chi Minh City have since collapsed along with the sluggish market, and have ended up switching to selling everything but realty projects. At the entrance of the Ng. Phi Hung real estate trading floor on Nguyen Thi Thap Street, District 7, what is noticeable these days is not the number of parked motorbikes as in mid-2009, when the floor was opened, but a stand to sell pho (rice noodle), and a couples of tables and chairs. … [Read more...]

Real estate brokerages switch to selling … pho

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After mushrooming during the prime time of the real estate sector in 2007, many property brokerages in Ho Chi Minh City have since collapsed along with the sluggish market, and have ended up switching to selling everything but realty projects. At the entrance of the Ng. Phi Hung real estate trading floor on Nguyen Thi Tap Street, District 7, what is noticeable these days is not the number of parked motorbikes as in mid-2009, when the floor was opened, but a stand to sell pho (rice noodle), and a couples of tables and chairs. At around 9am every day, the former property brokers arrive and begin their jobs as food vendors. "There are only five of us left," said Tran Dinh C., a sales executive of the trading floor. "We have to sell pho to earn a little more profit amid this slumping market." In its early days, the Ng. Phi Hung real estate trading floor set an ambitious target of becoming the country's top contractor, housing trader, and brokerage. "But now that we have to wait … [Read more...]

Vietnam proactive in preventing animal disease spread

Photo: baogialai.com.vn

Vietnam has been proactive in taking measures and implementing programmes to prevent the spread of animal diseases to humans, an international conference heard. The two-day conference on preventing the spread of animal diseases to humans was opened in Hanoi on August 25 by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health (MoH) in collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) and the Indonesian Ministry of Health. The conference showed Vietnam’s active role as the pioneering country in effort to prevent the spread of animal diseases to humans, especially newly-emerged dangerous diseases under the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA). The conference aims to raise awareness and share experience in preventing the transmission of animal diseases to humans and priority activities between countries in the region and the world to achieve the goal of the five-year plan "the action package to prevent the spread of diseases from animals to humans." Vietnamese Deputy … [Read more...]

Vietnam pledges to prevent zoonotic diseases

At the conference (Credit: vov.vn)

NDO - As one of the leading countries in the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), Vietnam pledges to take drastic action and be actively involved in prevention and combat against emerging epidemics, especially zoonotic diseases, as stipulated in the GHSA. Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Thang Long made the statement at an international conference on zoonotic disease prevention and control, co-organised by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Indonesian Ministry of Health in Hanoi on August 25. The conference looks towards enhancing collaboration among nations in battling diseases and devising action plans with specific goals in each country to promote the effective minimisation and prevention of zoonotic diseases. During the two-day event, participants will focus on sharing experience and challenges in zoonotic disease prevention and control, and discussing opportunities for regional and global co-operation in dealing with … [Read more...]

Vietnam may license ‘female Viagra’: health ministry

Addyi, a new U.S.-made drug that treats low sexual desire in women, may be licensed for circulation in Vietnam if it successfully passes clinical tests, local health authorities have said. A representative of the Vietnamese Ministry of Health’s Pharmaceutical Management Department made the statement on Wednesday when talking about the drug, a libido pill for women dubbed "female Viagra," which won approval from the U.S.’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Tuesday. Pursuant to provisions of the Law on Pharmacy, clinical tests are required for any medicine that has yet to pass five years of circulation from the date of production in the country where it was made, the representative said. If such tests show that Addyi meets requirements on quality and treatment effects, its producer can apply for registration of circulation of the drug in Vietnam, the official added. Cindy Whitehead, the managing director of Sprout Pharmaceuticals, a U.S.-based private company that … [Read more...]

Vietnam lifts MERS health declaration for visitors from RoK

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Visitors from South Korea entering Vietnam from August 15, 2015 onward will no longer be required to fill out MERS-CoV health declarations, the Vietnamese Ministry of Health said in a decision issued on Wednesday. MERS-CoV is the abbreviation for the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus, which has effected 1,400 people in the world, including South Korea, and killed at least 500 of them since it first appeared in April 2012 in Saudi Arabia, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The decision will take effect at midnight on Saturday (August 15), the ministry said. This move was made after the WHO said that as of August 10, 2015, South Korea had not reported any new MERS-CoV patients for 36 consecutive days. On July 28, Korean Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn announced that the epidemic had ended in the country, and many other nations later lifted their recommendation that limited their citizens from traveling to South Korea. MERS-CoV had affected 186 people in … [Read more...]

Executive of Vietnam drug firm charged with smuggling

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Police from the Ministry of Public Security have charged a senior official at VN Pharma, a pharmaceutical joint stock company in Vietnam, and its chief accountant with smuggling as part of their investigation into a case uncovered last year. Ngo Anh Quoc, 31, deputy general director of VN Pharma, has been let out on bail, while chief accountant Le Thi Vu Phuong, 33, has been detained pending investigation, police said on Monday. On September 19, 2014, police detained the chairman and general director of VN Pharma, Nguyen Minh Hung, 36, for smuggling and counterfeiting bidding documents. Police officers later apprehended Nguyen Tri Nhat, 40, another deputy general director of VN Pharma; Phan Cam Loan, 42, deputy head of the Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered firm’s import-export department; and Vo Manh Cuong, 36, who claimed to be a representative of a foreign drug firm in Ho Chi Minh City, on the same charges. As such, a total of six people have so far faced prosecution in … [Read more...]

Vietnamese woman returning from abroad with fever tests negative for MERS

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A young Vietnamese woman suspected of developing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) has tested negative for the deadly coronavirus after she returned from abroad with a high fever, local health authorities confirmed on Wednesday. >> Ho Chi Minh City assigns three hospitals to treat possible MERS patients The woman, L.N.B.P., 23, an overseas Vietnamese student in Houston, Texas, who had a fever of 40.8 degrees Celsius when she returned to Vietnam on June 7 from the U.S., with a transit period of 16 hours in MERS-stricken South Korea. P., a native of the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, also suffered a cold shiver, headache and difficult urination but she did not feel hard to breathe and cough upon returning that day. She was taken to Can Tho City General Hospital for treatment and doctors diagnosed her with acute respiratory inflammation suspected to be caused by MERS. Doctors then sent P.’s sample to the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute for testing and on … [Read more...]

Vietnam’s first suspected MERS-CoV case tests negative

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A 52-year-old Vietnamese woman suspected of developing Middle East Respiratory Syndrome caused by the Corona virus (MERS-CoV) has tested negative for the deadly virus, a health agency said on Sunday. >> Vietnam puts together 4 fast-response teams to confront MERS-CoV At 6:30 pm yesterday, the Ho Chi Minh City Pasteur Institute confirmed that the sample taken from Nguyen Thi S., a woman from Thu Dau Mot Town in the southern province of Binh Duong, tested negative forthe Corona virus after she returned to Vietnam from a MERS-CoV-hit area with a high fever. S. had taken tours of Dubai and Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from May 31 to June 4, and had a high fever there before flying back to Vietnam on June 5. As recommended by a health quarantine officer, she arrived at the Ho Chi Minh Hospital for Tropical Diseases for an examination after getting treatment at a private clinic while her fever remained, doctors said. Currently, S., with a high fever of 39 … [Read more...]

Health Ministry issues plan against MERS-CoV

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Passengers' body temperature is checked at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (Photo: VNA) The Vietnamese Ministry of Health on June 6 issued an action plan against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in an effort to promptly detect and treat infected cases and to prevent an outbreak of the disease in Vietnam. The plan includes solutions for three scenarios; one in which no cases have been reported; in the second one cases have been identified and the third one is when the disease has begun to spread in a community. The plan underlines the importance of supervision, especially at border gates, and personal protection for medical staff. The plan recommends the health sector establish a network of hospitals ready to admit and treat patients in accordance to each scenario, to prevent overloading. Rules on medical examination, isolation, treatment and the prevention of infection and cross-infection at hospitals must strictly be followed, while the … [Read more...]

Vietnam puts together 4 fast-response teams to confront MERS-CoV

>> Ministry warns about possibility of spread of MERS from S. Korea to Vietnam

The Vietnamese Ministry of Health has established four fast-response teams to cope with the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome caused by the Corona virus (MERS-CoV) that has spread to 26 countries and killed more than 440 people. These four teams will be deployed to four regions of the country, under a decision signed by Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long on Friday. The team for the northern region will be headed by Dr. Tran Dac Phu, head of the ministry’s Preventive Health Department, while Vien Quang Mai, director of the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute, will be in charge of the team for the central coast. The two teams for the Central Highlands region and the southern part will be led by Pham Tho Duoc, chief of the Central Highlands Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, and Phan Trong Lan, director of the Ho Chi Minh Pasteur Institute. These four teams will assist local health authorities in detecting people with signs of MERS-CoV, isolating and treating them … [Read more...]

‘Stop Using Rhino Horn’ denies link with stats on horn buyers in Vietnam

"Stop Using Rhino Horn," jointly run by WildAid in partnership with the African Wildlife Foundation and Vietnamese non-governmental organization CHANGE, was launched in Hanoi in March 2014 and is running until 2016.   On Thursday,

Recent statistics showing that the number of rhino horn buyers in Vietnam has slumped have no truck with the "Stop Using Rhino Horn," the coordinator board behind the communication campaign said Monday. Tuoi Tre News reported that a Vietnamese delegation on Wednesday attended a working session in the South African capital city of Pretoria with the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and relevant agencies to review their partnership in the conservation field. Statistics released at the session showed that rhino horn buyers in Vietnam has declined 77 percent while there has been a 60 percent decrease in the number of people who think rhino horn has medicinal properties, one year after the launch of the "Stop Using Rhino Horn." The figures are in fact "not related in any way" to the campaign, its coordinator board in Vietnam said in an email to Tuoi Tre News. As many as 75 percent of the respondents surveyed by AC Nielsen in late 2014 believed that rhino horn has … [Read more...]