Shelter for gender-based violence victims
Established last April, Anh Duong House has become a shelter for women and girls suffering from domestic violence. Victims also receive health and physical care and mental and psychological support. Services are completely free.
Welcoming women who have fled from domestic violence and helping them settle down and obtain the basic skills needed to protect themselves is the job of Dr Nguyen Thi Thu Ha. Victims coming to Anh Duong House are all from different circumstances, but most have suffered from physical and emotional violence for some time.
Providing a shelter for victims of domestic violence is only a preliminary step. More importantly, experts at Anh Duong House also provide victims with the knowledge and skills to understand their own rights, so that when faced with violent acts will know how to defend themselves and stay safe./.
Draft reports to 13th National Party Congress tabled at Party Central Committee’s session
|The Party Central Committee spent the second day of its 14th session debating several draft reports to be submitted to the upcoming 13th National Party Congress.|
The Party Central Committee spent the second day of its 14th session debating several draft reports to be submitted to the upcoming 13th National Party Congress.
In the morning of December 15, the committee convened at the hall to scrutinize the draft political report; the draft report summing up the implementation of the 10-year socio-economic development strategy for 2011-2020 and the building of a 10-year socio-economic development strategy for 2021-2030; the draft report evaluating the implementation of socio-economic development tasks during 2016-2020 and outlining directions and tasks for the next five years; and the draft report summing up Party building work and the enforcement of the Party regulations by the 12th-tenure Party Central Committee.
In the afternoon, discussions were held in groups with the focus on the draft report reviewing the leadership and instruction of the 12th-tenure Party Central Committee and another summing up the implementation of working regulations by the 12th-tenure Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Party Central Committee Secretariat.
The 14th session of the 12th Party Central Committee is taking place in Hanoi from December 14-20./.
PM asks for drastic measures to deal with consequences of disasters, resume production
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has sent a dispatch to relevant ministries, sectors, and localities requesting they focus on settling the consequences of natural disasters and recovering production in the central region.
He highlighted the need to concentrate on ensuring food supplies to those affected and supporting households with damaged housing to re-build before the upcoming Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, while urgently restoring basic infrastructure, especially healthcare and education and transport, irrigation, and dyke networks.
Ministries, sectors, and localities should prepare climate change scenarios as well as comprehensive assessments of the risk posed by natural disasters and their impact on people’s livelihoods and socio-economic development, the PM said, thus enabling an appropriate response.
At the same time, it is necessary to bolster resilience against natural disasters in terms of housing and public facilities, review policies on social welfare, ethnic minority affairs, and housing to provide more support for poor households to build safe houses, and evacuate people in at-risk areas.
The PM asked for close control over investment in the construction of infrastructure serving socio-economic development, particularly hydropower dams and plants and especially small-scale ones, along with the protection and planting of forests and the minimising of any ecological impact.
At the same time, he highlighted the need to complete legal regulations and policies relating to natural disaster prevention and response and overcoming the consequences, with adjustments to procedures regarding urgent support and fund raising and distribution.
More resources should be invested in natural disaster mitigation and search and rescue activities, he stressed, while focusing on repairing and upgrading the dyke network and associating investment in natural disaster prevention with the socio-economic development plans of different sectors and localities.
The Government leader asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to coordinate with localities to assist natural disaster-hit residents in resuming agricultural production. The Ministry of Labour, Invalids, and Social Affairs was asked to work closely with other ministries to deal with any difficulties arising in supporting flood-hit households with housing, while keeping a close watch on the hunger situation in localities.
He asked the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment to enhance the quality of its forecasting activities and to build a natural disaster map. The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Public Security were requested to review the locations of their bases to ensure safety, while preparing equipment for search and rescue activities.
The Ministry of Transport was asked to support localities in fixing roads damaged by flooding and landslides, while the Ministry of Industry and Trade was directed to monitor materials and goods to avoid shortages and rising prices, while reviewing the planning of and tightening the control over the construction of hydropower reservoirs and dams.
The Ministry of Construction was urged to design and guide the building of resilient housing for people in flood-affected areas, while the Ministry of Finance was asked to submit a draft decree on the raising, distribution, and use of support for disaster-hit residents.
The Ministry of Planning and Investment was directed to prioritise the allocation of public investment to localities suffering from natural disasters, while the State Bank of Vietnam was asked to guide credit organisations in offering support to people and businesses affected.
Meanwhile, the PM also asked the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee to continue providing guidelines and supervision over activities to raise funds, to ensure transparency, equality, and efficiency./.
Vietnam a key partner of RoK’s New Southern Policy: Official
Vietnam is a key partner of the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s New Southern Policy, leader of the ruling Democratic Party Lee Nak-yon affirmed while receiving Vietnamese Ambassador Nguyen Vu Tung on December 15.
Lee said that the RoK-Vietnam relations have been flourishing in all fields over the past years, especially in economy, trade, investment and people-to-people exchange.
He voiced his hope that the bilateral ties will continue obtaining new positive results towards the 30th founding anniversary of diplomatic relations in 2022.
The Vietnamese Ambassador to the RoK shared his host’s views on the swift development of the bilateral ties for the sake of the countries and peoples.
He expressed his delight at the opportunities to deepen the Vietnam-RoK relations as the countries are to celebrate the 30th year of diplomatic ties, voicing a hope that the headquarters of the Embassy of Vietnam in Seoul will be promptly completed, turning into a symbol of the countries’ cooperation.
Lee was elected as leader of the Democratic Party in August. Earlier, he served as the 41st Prime Minister of the RoK from May 2017 until this January.
Surgeons conduct bone marrow transplant to save 2.5-year-old boy
The boy is discharged from the hospital (Photo: SGGP)
A 2.5-year-old boy hailing from the Southern Province of Dong Nai yesterday was discharged from the Hue Central Hospital as he well recovered after the hematopoietic stem cell transplant.
Before, he was diagnosed to have lymphoma at the Ho Chi Minh City-based Children Hospital No.2 where he was given combination chemotherapy, which means two or more drugs, instead of single-agent therapy. Surgeons also removed the tumor out of him.
Later, the boy was transferred to the Hue Central Hospital. The hospital management board examined the boy and decided to carry out stem cell transplant on him. Surgeons performed the operation on November 12.
Hospital director Professor Pham Nhu Hiep said that the boy recovered after the transplant. He was therefore discharged from the hospital. But he has to take drug and later undergo radiotherapy in the Tumor Hospital and take retino-acid in six months.
The successful bone marrow transplant in these days of the end of 2020 has brough happiness to doctors, Professor Nhu Hiep shared. One year has passed, the hospital has performed five successful stem cell transplant and he is the youngest one.
In the upcoming time, the hospital will continue conducting more retinal degeneration on children to save those with uncurable diseases, he said.
Electronic toll collection begins on Lien Khuong-Prenn Expressway
Hung Phat Co Ltd, investor of Lien Khuong-Prenn Expressway in Lam Dong Province, put into operation four electronic toll collection (ETC) gates at the expressway’s six-gate Dinh An toll station today, December 14.
Two of the gates are used for vehicles with the E-tag only, while the other two allow both ETC and payment by tickets.
Two gates, which are currently used exclusively for payment by tickets, will be transformed into ETC gates in March 2021. This gives vehicle owners time to install the E-tag.
Nguyen Dinh Truong, deputy director of Hung Phat Co Ltd, said the cost for the six ETC gates at the Dinh An toll station, which is located in Duc Trong District, amounts to VND19 billion—VND13 billion for software and equipment and VND6 billion for construction and operation.
Truong said on the first day of electronic toll collection, some vehicles without the E-tag went into the ETC gates. The operator had to ask them to go through the ticket or mixed gates.
However, Decree 100/2019/ND-CP regulates that drivers of vehicles without the E-tag will be fined VND1-2 million if they enter the ETC gates.
Vehicle owners can come to the Dinh An toll station or the Lam Dong Province Motor Vehicle Registration Center to get the E-tag for their vehicles free of charge until the end of December 2021. The E-tag is valid nationwide.
The 20-kilometer-long Lien Khuong-Prenn Expressway links the Lien Khuong Airport in Duc Trong District and the Prenn mountain pass in Dalat City.
HCMC punishes 30 passenger buses after one week of inspection
Inspectors of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Transport reported that traffic police discovered, made a record of 30 violations and issued fines amounting to VND35 million (US$1,550) on owners of 30 passenger buses for breaking traffic regulations after a peak week of checking passenger transport business activities in the city.
Of which, a driver was revoked his driving license and one case was revoked vehicle badge within two months, paying the fine of nearly VND 14 million (US$601).
28 cases involved in stopping and parking violations with the fine amount of nearly VND22 million (US$949).
The Department has directed the specialized inspection teams to intensify the inspection activities and handling over violated vehicles in the city.
HCMC to synchronize investment of bus rapid transit route with metro line 1
The People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City yesterday assigned the Municipal Urban Railway Management Board, the HCMC Management Board of Investment and Construction of Traffic Projects and relevant units to speed up the implementation progress of the 29-kilometer bus rapid transit No. 1 (BRT1) route , which runs along Vo Van Kiet – Mai Chi Tho street through Saigon River connecting with Hanoi Highway.
Besides that, the functional units will be in charge of reviewing the current status of ongoing projects as well as project planning along the metro corridor. Thereby they should urgently survey land use and legality of land plots in areas locating within the radius of 500- 800m around stations along the metro line No. 1, propose planning solutions for land use, planning targets and architecture designs of each land plot around the stations.
Government of Hungary offers 200 scholarships
Vietnamese Ministry of Education and Training announced the Government of Hungary has just offered full scholarships to Vietnamese students who wanted to study at Hungary’s State-owned higher education institutions.
Specifically, Hungary has offered 25 periodical scholarships; 80 graduate scholarships; 55 master scholarships; 30 doctoral scholarships and 10 postgraduate scholarships.
Those take graduate program will learn in two to four years while their master peers will learn in 1.5-2 years and doctoral peer will be four years.
Those who receive periodical scholarships will study 5- 6 years while those enrolling in postgraduate program will study in five to ten months.
The government of Hungary will provide free training, research and insurance as per its regulations.
The government of Vietnam will award free air fare, fees for visas and expenditure according to the country’s present regulation for oversea students.
Scholarship applications in Vietnamese should be sent to the Department of International Cooperation under the Ministry of Education and Training at 35 Dai Co Viet Street in Hai Ba Trung District in Hanoi before January 15, 2021 and their entries will be sent to Hungary. The country will give guideline about paperwork for the course starting in September, 2021.
Ha Tinh Province recognizes traditional handicraft villages
The North Central coastal province of Ha Tinh has recognized two traditional handicraft villages and three traditional crafts, announced the provincial People’s Committee yesterday.
Chau Ha salt-making village dating back nearly 100 years has 126 households who are engaged in making salt with the production area of more than 14 hectares and production capacity of 2,500 tons per year.
Formed hundreds of years ago, Nam Giang rattan and bamboo village has around 70 households involved in making all sorts of baskets.
Dinh Hoe building craft with traditions around 200-300 years sees over 1,000 people who are working in the province and neighboring areas. These craftsmen earn VND300,000-VND400,000 per day.
Da Lat collects opinions on planning project of Valley of Love
The People’s Committee of Da Lat City in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong has collected opinions for the planning project of the Valley of Love, a famous tourist attraction in the city, announced Deputy Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee, Vo Ngoc Trinh.
According to the suggestion of Thanh Thanh Cong Tourist Joint Stock Company, the enterprise has asked for a permission from the local authorities to keep an illegal construction of a glass-bottom Bridge connecting the Love Valley and another destination of Doi Mong Mo (Dreamming Hill).
The work located in Ward 8 in Da Lat City was built in April, 2019 without permission of the local government.
On January 14, the People’s Committee of Da Lat City issued an administrative fine of VND40 million for building the 325 meter-long bridge without a license to the investor and asked the company to tear down the construction within 60 days.
In April, the municipal People’s Committee gave the investor some more time to remove the work because the bridge using foreign technology must be demolished by a staff of foreign specialists and workers who can not travel to Vietnam due to the pandemic outbreak.
Ambassador meets with OVs in Ukraine
Vietnamese Ambassador to Ukraine Nguyen Hong Thach recently had a meeting with representatives from Vietnamese communities in Kiev and Odessa cities, and Cherkasy oblast.
During the meeting, the newly-appointed ambassador highlighted the role played by the Vietnamese community in Ukraine in further developing solidarity and cooperation between the two countries.
He was briefed on the organisation structure and activities of the communities, and difficulties facing overseas Vietnamese in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ambassador Thach urged Vietnamese expats in Ukraine to strengthen solidarity to overcome difficulties caused by the pandemic, and change their business forms to adapt to the new situation.
He affirmed that the embassy will always accompany and support the Vietnamese community in the country./.
Singapore approves Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced on December 14 that the country had approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and German firm BioNTech, with the first shipment due to arrive in Singapore by the end of December.
In a televised address on Singapore’s COVID-19 situation, Lee said that this makes Singapore one of the first countries to obtain this vaccine, adding that other vaccines are expected to arrive in Singapore in the coming months.
“If all goes according to plan, we will have enough vaccines for everyone in Singapore by the third quarter of 2021,” he said.
To assure the vaccine is safe, Lee said that he and senior officials will be the first to be injected.
Vaccinations will be free for all Singaporeans as well as long-term residents currently in Singapore, he added./.
Seminar talks upholding elderly resources in development
A seminar on upholding the elderly resources in socio-economic development in adaptation with populating aging was held in Hanoi on December 14.
Speaking at the event, head of the Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute for Family and Gender Studies Tran Thi Minh Thi said Vietnam is in the face of challenges caused by rapid population aging, including more expenses on health care, retirement, allowance and social welfare.
As of the late 2017, the country was home to 11 million senior citizens, accounting for nearly 12 percent of the population, about 2 million of them aged above 80. Vietnam is forecast to enter the aging stage by 2035 with nearly 21 million old persons. They are expected to make up 20 percent of the population by 2038 and around 25 percent by 2049.
Moreover, 70 percent of the elderly still go to work to earn a living while they are easily vulnerable to socio-economic risks when their children are jobless. Most of them also suffer non-communicable and chronic diseases, leading to high health care cost and overload in hospitals.
Participants discussed policies to encourage firms to hire elderly workers, ensure jobs for middle-age workers in manufacturing and processing sector, improve the quality of worker demand forecast, and offer vocational training to them.
Many opinions suggested measures to develop social welfare toward covering the entire population, prevent and mitigate risks for vulnerable groups, sustainably reduce poverty and narrow development gap among zones and regions, develop youth and gender equality for women’s advancement, and gradually narrow gender gap in the fields of politics, economy, socio-culture and family affairs./.
Thai people urged to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines in New Year celebrations
Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul on December 14 urged the Thai people to strictly adhere to social distancing and other health guidelines against COVID-19 when joining activities to celebrate the upcoming New Year.
The authorities will not stop people from organising or participating in New Year celebrations and countdown events, but people will be required to strictly observe disease prevention measures such as checking temperature, wearing face masks, washing their hands with alcoholic gel and literally keeping a distance among themselves, Anutin said.
Meanwhile, the minister also said authorities of the northeastern province Nakhon Ratchasima, where a big concert was held in vicinity of Khao Yai National Park over the weekend, are yet to take legal action against the concert organizers for extending the open air performances by eight hours.
According to the minister, many of the concert’s audience failed to wear face masks and ignored the social distancing rule./.
HCM City pushes training for occupational change amid Industry 4.0
The Ho Chi Minh City Labour Federation will take part in providing vocational training for workers to change occupations for better working environment and incomes, said Vice President of the federation Tran Doan Trung on December 14.
Talking about orientations for vocation change in the 2020-2023 period, Trung said the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0), where artificial intelligence and machines will gradually replace manual workers, will lead to the formation of new jobs and services serving its demand.
According to Trung, most of local workers, particularly those in garment-textiles, footwear, electronics, and seafood processing, have yet to be trained or undergo formal training. As a result, vocational training becomes a demand of many labourers and enterprises.
The federation plans to build policies and regulations to monitor the training of workers for job change, enhance capacity of trade unions in engaging in the work, implement related emulation campaigns, and mobilise resources for the training.
It aims to have all trade unions with demand for occupational change negotiating to make the content included in collective labour agreements in 2023./.
13th “Love for Hanoi’ art programme held
The 13th “Love for Hanoi” art programme was held at the Hanoi Opera House on December 14, with the presence of Politburo member and Secretary of the municipal Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue.
The programme, divided into two parts, featured well-known songs praising the love for the country in general and the capital city in particular.
The first part, themed “Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu in the Air”, comprised of five famous songs about Hanoi such as Bai Ca Ha Noi (Song of Hanoi), Hanoi – Dien Bien Phu in the Air, Ha Noi nhung dem khong ngu (Hanoi sleepless nights), Ha Noi cua toi (My Hanoi) and Ha Noi niem tin va hi vong (Hanoi faith and hope).
Meanwhile, the second part, themed “street rhythms”, honoured three composers of the capital city who received the State Awards for Literature and Arts, namely Hoang Duong, Dang Huu Phu and Vu Thiet.
The programme attracted the participation of the Vietnam National Symphony Orchestra, People’s Artist Ngo Hoang Quan, Meritorious Artist Ngo Hoang Linh, and such singers as Minh Chuyen, Dang Thuat, Hoang Quang and Luong Nguyet Anh./.
USAID-funded project helps Vietnam combat HIV/AIDS, TB
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Local Health System Sustainability (LHSS) project in Vietnam on December 15 to help the country develop its ability to combat HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis.
Through the LHSS Vietnam project, USAID will continue working alongside the Government to strengthen public financial management systems for the local health sector and find greater efficiencies in terms of social health insurance. In addition, the scheme will increase and improve the efficiency of domestic financing of HIV prevention and treatment services, whilst strengthening the capacity of local supply chain management systems, and integrating TB services into social health insurance.
Addressing the launching ceremony, USAID Vietnam director Ann Marie Yastishock congratulated the Government and the Ministry of Health on the successful transition of their HIV response from donor to domestic funding, with Social Health Insurance (SHI) now becoming the primary financing mechanism.
“Vietnam now has 90% of HIV patients enrolled in SHI. All treatment facilities can now be reimbursed for HIV services. Most importantly, SHI funds are now used to procure anti-retroviral drugs, the most expensive component of an HIV response. This is a remarkable trajectory of success and one we are all proud to share with Vietnam. USAID, through PEPFAR, has supported the Government in updating policies and building systems that would support this transition,” she added.
LHSS Vietnam represents a four-year project that will run until 2024 and comes with a planned budget of US$13.9 million which is funded by the United States Government through PEPFAR and USAID.
It is part of USAID’s global initiative in terms of strengthening integrated health systems to help low- and middle-income countries transition to sustainable and self-financed health systems to support access to universal health coverage.
Transport sector targets cashless transactions by 2030
|My Dinh bus station is one of the busiest in Hanoi capital.|
By 2025, the sector expects to form its own database, and the settlement of all administrative procedures under the management of the ministry will be monitored via the public service portal and one-stop-shop system.
The sector also aims to automate procedures relating to registration, check-up and supervision of businesses, vehicles and drivers.
By that time, the intelligent transportation system (ITS) will be installed on all expressways. Meanwhile, the electronic toll collection (ETC) system will be implemented at all toll collection points nationwide.
By 2030, the sector will continue to perfect the database and roll out the smart transport system across the country.
Transport infrastructure in road, railway, navigation, aviation and internal waterway will be connected synchronously.
Exhibition relives the past
An exhibition on the life of Vietnamese people under the period of subsidy economy is taking place in Ninh Binh province.
The original tools and gears that closely related to the working life of people such as rice mill, rice pounder; buckets for water fetching are also on display. Visitors will get a glimpse of the time when they and their family used to live.
The exhibition will run until December 18 as part of activity to celebrate the 13th National Party Congress and the 2021 Ninh Binh National Tourism Year./.
Cambodia to obtain 20 percent of COVID-19 vaccine via COVAX
Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the Ministers of Health and Finance have already signed a deal to obtain 20 percent of a vaccine through COVAX.
In his address to the nation about a possible purchase of COVID-19 vaccine via TVK national television on December 15, Hun Sen said questions have been raised about the sourcing of a vaccine for Cambodian people.
The PM said COVAX will give Cambodia 20 percent or about 3.2 million of the population and they requested Cambodia pay five percent of the budget.
He said the government has already allocated 100 million USD to purchase a vaccine.
However, Hun Sen said that he would not allow Cambodians for a vaccine trial conducted by any country or company unless it is approved by the WHO./.
Indonesia bans gatherings in public places during holidays
The Indonesian Government has decided to ban crowds congregating to celebrate Christmas 2020 and New Year 2021 in public places to prevent a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases.
The decision was taken at a virtual coordination meeting for COVID-19 handling in Jakarta, West Java, Central Java, East Java, and Bali chaired by Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan.
The minister ordered to apply stricter restrictions against COVID-19 from December 18 to January 8 next year.
A significant rise in confirmed cases was recorded after the holidays and joint leave at the end of October that necessitated the Indonesian government to tighten restrictions.
In Jakarta, 75 percent of the capital city’s employees are urged to work from home.
The policy of limiting operating hours to 7pm and limit the number of people gathering at restaurants, malls, and entertainment venues will be continued, the Indonesian minister affirmed.
Religious, anniversary, or celebratory events that can attract crowds must be restricted or prohibited, he emphasised.
According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Health, the country logged 6,120 COVID-19 cases on December 15, raising the national tally to 629,429, with a death toll of 19,111.
The same day, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen advised the country’s education ministry to cancel the upcoming high school graduation exam and to determine whether a student passes or fails based on the results of semester exams.
He made the remark in a speech live broadcast on the National Television of Cambodia (TVK).
Cambodia’s Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports recently decided to postpone the annual high school graduation exam to mid-January, 2021 due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.
The Southeast Asian nation recorded a locally transmitted case on the day, and has seen a total of 362 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far.
Meanwhile, Singapore announced that it will open a new segregated travel lane for a limited number of business, official and high economic value travellers from all countries next month, as part of efforts to revive its key travel and hospitality sectors.
The first travellers will be able to arrive from the second half of January through the new lane, which will be open to those who are coming for short-term stays of up to 14 days.
Travellers under the latest arrangement will have to stick to strict health and testing protocols, and will need to stay within a “bubble” at segregated facilities.
Singapore welcomed only 13,400 visitors in October, compared to 1.7 million reported in January./.
Project to build resilience, sustainable settlement in Mekong Delta
A plan for the implementation of a project on “Enhancing the resilience inclusive and sustainable eco-human settlement development through small-scale infrastructure interventions in the coastal regions of the in Mekong Delta” was discussed at a Hanoi meeting on December 15.
The event was held by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources.
The project aims to help the poor and vulnerable communes in the Mekong Delta build resilience and adapt to climate change.
Inhabited by close to 20 million people, the Mekong Delta is Vietnam’s largest producer of agricultural and aquatic products, contributing considerably to the country’s food productivity and agricultural exports. The region, however, is among the hardest hit by climate change.
The government has adopted various policies to support affected cities and provinces in the Mekong Delta, particularly Resolution 120/NQ-CP on Sustainable and Climate-Resilient Development of the Mekong Delta of Vietnam dated November 17, 2017.
To enforce the resolution, the Ministry of Environment and Rural Resources has coordinated with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to build the 6.4-million-USD project to be implemented with the Adaption Fund’s non-refundable aid in the period of 2020 – 2030 in the Mekong Delta provinces of Tra Vinh and Bac Lieu.
Delegates to the meeting suggested reviewing estimated costs of each of the four components of the project and increasing budget for developing local infrastructure. They also proposed issuing a guidebook for implementing the project at local level.
Deputy Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa requested relevant units to take note of the comments while urging beneficiary provinces to complete preparatory steps for the project to start on schedule./.
Workshop seeks ways to protect, promote human rights amid COVID-19
Protecting and promoting human rights in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic was the theme of a workshop jointly held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Hanoi on December 15.
Assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Pham Quang Hieu touched on the major challenges brought about by COVID-19 in the world and in Vietnam over the last year that have disrupted the enjoyment of fundamental human rights.
He affirmed that the Vietnamese Government has paid due attention to protecting and supporting the vulnerable during the pandemic and introduced ideas to bolster international cooperation in battling COVID-19.
Of particular note, the country proposed the International Day of Epidemic Preparedness be observed annually on December 27, in an attempt to raise public awareness and cooperation in epidemic preparedness and fighting.
The resolution was approved by the UN General Assembly on December 7 and co-sponsored by 107 nations.
Vietnam’s commitments and efforts in protecting and promoting human rights, notably the implementation of recommendations under the UPR mechanism, third cycle, were acknowledged in speeches by delegates at the workshop.
Delegates also discussed legal issues surrounding human rights restrictions during the time of the pandemic, the enjoyment of human rights in cyberspace, and the role and contribution of every element in society in observing COVID-19 preventive measures.
They shared information and experience and put forward solutions to protect and promote human rights against the backdrop of COVID-19, which will be integrated into the implementation of recommendations under the UPR mechanism.
The MoFA has joined hands with the UNDP in Vietnam to organise workshops commemorating Human Rights Day since 2015./.
USAID helps Vietnam redouble efforts to end TB
Vietnam National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) and USAID on December 15 expanded the Ministry of Health/NTP’s “Double X” Strategy for tuberculosis (TB) case identification in a bid to wipe out this respiratory disease in Vietnam by 2030.
Double X is a new strategy to diagnose TB using chest X-rays and GeneXpert, a diagnostic method that detects TB bacteria.
At an event entitled “Health Partnerships to End TB in Vietnam – Applying the “Double X” Strategy held on December 15 in Hanoi, participants shared key achievements and lessons in implementing the Strategy, including key achievements of the NTP toward TB goals; outcomes from USAID Sustainable HIV and TB Responses from Technical Assistance (SHIFT) activity on the Double-X Strategy in seven provinces in Vietnam, experiences from provincial TB programmes; and multi-faceted TB strategies using Double X from international organisations.
Vietnam ranks 11th among the 30 countries that account for nearly 90 percent of the world’s TB burden. It is also one of the most common communicable diseases in the country.
Each year, it is estimated that 170,000 people become sick from TB in Vietnam, but only around 100,000 are accounted for in the National TB system, leaving around 50,000 community TB cases undiagnosed, and the remaining 20,000 diagnosed but not reported.
Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said the country has made encouraging achievements in the fight against TB, especially the fact that it could successfully treat 92 percent of first-time TB patients, 75-80 percent of the patients with multidrug resistant TB with short-term treatment while the global figure is about 56 percent.
The number of TB patients is on a gradual downtrend, with a decline of only 4 percent a year, according to Tuyen, who said the national programme should maximise the use of existing tools in diagnosing and treating TB with universal health insurance; while at the same time, expanding the application of new identification tools, new drugs and vaccines, with the help of partners both in and outside the country.
Professor Nguyen Viet Nhung, chair of the national programme on fighting TB, said just like COVID-19, TB infection incidents need to be detected as soon as possible so risks of transmission in the community are reduced and the hospitalisation for the patients themselves would be shorter.
Ending the TB epidemic in Vietnam will require intensive effort. The USAID SHIFT project’s partnership with the NTP has piloted the comprehensive Double X Strategy in health facilities and communities in 18 districts in seven provinces (Thai Binh, Nghe An, An Giang, Can Tho, Dong Nai, Tay Ninh, and Tien Giang).
Double X will be further scaled up to 25 provinces in December 2020. Sites for implementation will include provincial hospitals (lung hospitals, general hospitals) as well as district health centres and general hospitals./.
Seminar on women conducting diplomacy for peace held
A seminar on women conducting diplomatic activities for peace took place in Hanoi on December 15, as part of activities to contribute to Vietnam’s diplomacy in its role as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure.
The event attracted female Vietnamese ambassadors and Lieutenant Sa Minh Ngoc, one of the first female officers from the Vietnam People’s Army to join the UN peacekeeping mission in South Sudan.
Ambassador Luan Thuy Duong told the gathering on Vietnamese women’s important contributions to diplomatic activities for peace. She also highlighted their tireless dedication to peace, development, and fostering the future of later generations.
The seminar joins nine others on women and their contributions in different fields taking place throughout December and early January.
A painting exhibition was also held on the occasion, with nearly 60 works featuring Vietnamese women and their efforts in national development./.
ADB, Imexpharm sign loan to support generic medicine production in Vietnam
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) signed an eight million USD loan with Imexpharm Corporation to help the company sustain its production of generic medicines despite global supply disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The financing will support the company’s working capital needs to ensure ample supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients for essential generic medicine production.
Imexpharm’s operations and continued production of generic pharmaceuticals and their ensured availability in the market is integral in safeguarding the country’s health care during the pandemic.
Head of Health and Education Investments at ADB’s Private Sector Operations Department Aniruddha Patil said that Asia has witnessed disruptions across the pharmaceutical supply chain in 2020, including a shortage of active pharmaceutical ingredients.
“This project demonstrates ADB’s continued efforts to enhance health outcomes in Vietnam by encouraging the development and use of local generic medicines,” he added.
For his part, Imexpharm’s Chairman Nguyen Quoc Dinh said that the financing will improve the firm’s liquidity situation and ensure a consistent supply of affordable generic drugs to hospitals and pharmacies across Vietnam.
This debt financing is part of ADB’s 20 billion USD assistance announced on April 13 to help its developing members manage the pandemic.
Imexpharm was established in 1977 and initially incorporated in 1983 as the Dong Thap Pharmaceutical Union. The firm was transformed from a state-owned enterprise into a joint-stock company and renamed Imexpharm Corporation, and its shares were listed on the Ho Chi Minh Stock Exchange in December 2006.
As of September 30, Imexpharm had 1,252 employees, total assets of 2.07 trillion VND (89.66 million USD), and six pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities./.
Hanoi’s anti-tuberculosis efforts prove effective
|Taking care of a TB patient|
Hanoi’s tuberculosis (TB) prevention programme was effectively implemented in all communes and wards in 2020, benefiting all the population of the capital city.
In the first nine months, 16,046 local people suspected of suffering from TB were examined, with 1,156 testing positive.
The programme helped detect and treat 2,821 TB cases of all types.
The management and treatment of TB patients has seen satisfactory results, with 1,233 people cured out of 1,289 TB AFB (acid fast bacilli) (+) cases, or 95.6 percent.
There were 184 out of 201 TB AFB (+) patients with bacteriological evidence who recovered from the disease, or 91.6 percent.
Hanoi has realised the goals set in the National Strategy for TB Prevention and Control by 2020 with a vision towards 2030, with 80 percent of new cases of AFB (+) being detected and 92 percent of detected patients recovering from the disease.
The positive results are attributed to Hanoi’s extensive anti-TB network in all districts, communes, wards and towns, and the application of modern techniques to quickly and effectively treat diagnosed cases.
Attention has also been paid to promoting communications to raise public awareness about the dangers of TB.
TB remains the leading cause of death in the world, resulting in nearly 2 million fatalities every year, with drug-resistant TB threatening global health. In Vietnam, the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there are nearly 130,000 new cases of TB diagnosed each year, resulting in some 16,000 deaths in the country in 2015.
Vietnam is 16th among 30 countries with the highest number of TB patients in the world, and is 13th among 30 countries facing the burden of multi drug-resistant TB.
The country is leading, however, in TB prevention efforts. The rate of successful treatment of multi drug-resistant TB is over 70 percent; much higher than the global average of 54 percent.
Thanks to early detection and treatment, TB-related deaths fell by 3,000 during 2015-2016. Vietnam has set a target of cutting the number of TB infections by 30 percent and fatalities by 40 percent during 2015-2020./.
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