Social News 4/12

Binh Dinh homes submerged by heavy rain

Up to around 3,000 houses in the southern central province of Binh Dinh have been seriously flooded due to heavy rain.

Phan Xuan Hai, chief office manager of the province’s Storm Prevention and Control and Rescue Centre, said that the water in many local rivers had sharply risen with many at alarming levels. Meanwhile, the heavy rains have continued in many local areas.

Torrential rains are forecast to continue until December 5, Hai added.

Phan Trong Ho, director of Binh Dinh Province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, said that Cay Gai dam by La Tinh River in Phu Cat District has been damaged by the rains. Local authorities have been making efforts to consolidate this to prevent possible risks.

Binh Dinh Province has listed all localities which have been affected or vulnerable to flood risks to have timely solutions. In case of long torrential rains, people will be evacuated from dangerous areas to ensure their safety. 

On December 2, more than 6,500 pupils in some communes in Phu Cat District had to stay at home due to the flooding. Many areas have been isolated by the flooding.  

Warnings for landslides and flash flood have been given to many districts, including An Lao, Hoai An, Hoai Nhon, Vinh Thanh and Van Canh. 

Traffic death toll exceeds 7,600 in eleven months

In the first eleven months of 2017, Vietnam recorded 18,384 traffic accidents that killed 7,604 people.

Statistics from the National Committee for Traffic Safety showed another 15,189 people were injured in accidents, most of which took place on the roads.

Compared to the same period last year, the numbers for traffic accidents, deaths and injuries decreased by 5.38, 3.83, and 11.61% respectively.

The main causes of accidents were speeding, driving on the wrong lane, and poor driving skills, among others.

In November alone, traffic accidents amounted to 2,217, with 77 deaths.

Outstanding projects honoured at National Creative Youth Festival

A ceremony was held in Hanoi on December 1 to honour the most outstanding projects, products and initiatives at the 2017 National Creative Youth Festival.

The event was attended by the Politburo member and the Deputy Prime Minister Vuong Dinh Hue.

This year’s festival was the tenth of its kind held by the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCYU) to encourage youngsters’ creativity in researching and applying science and technology.

At the ceremony, 35 outstanding projects and products from members of the HCYU around the country were honoured. They are relevant to different fields, including automation, information technology, healthcare, environment, security, defence and mechanics.

This year, the organising board received 254 projects from the local youth unions in many provinces and cities around the country.

Addressing the ceremony, Deputy PM Hue affirmed that the Party and State always give much attention towards strongly developing the fields of science and technology as well as promoting the role creativity plays for the younger generation.

He expressed his hope that the honourees would apply their research, works, and creatives into the life as well as actively conquer new challenges and seize the opportunities from the industrial revolution 4.0 thus improving the position of Vietnam in the international arena.

The Deputy PM also asked the minitries, agencies and localities to continue to support and create favourable conditons for young people to promote their creativity in studying and working, particularly effectively implementing creative entrepreneurship programmes.

On the same day, an exhibition, featuring outstanding creative projects and projects by youngsters from 13 units directly under the HCYU, was held in Hanoi.

‘Book forest’ opens in Ho Chi Minh City

A giant rainforest-themed bookstore welcomed its first visitors on December 2 inside a shopping mall in Ho Chi Minh City.

‘book forest’ opens in ho chi minh city hinh 0 Operated by Phuong Nam Corp (PNC), the ‘Phuong Nam Book City’ is the second of its kind to be launched by the Vietnamese book company, aimed at creating “a unique space for books, a place where every book that a reader needs could be found,” according to PNC deputy director Ngo Le Huan.

With over one million books available inside an area of nearly 3,000 square meters at The Garden Mall in District 5, it is the largest PNC bookstore in terms of stock size.

Readers can spend the whole day ‘trekking’ along the five-kilometer pathway that snakes through the massive bookstore across sections including fiction, children’s books, stationery, souvenirs and a book café.

The bookstore is a collection of books by both Vietnamese and foreign publishers, the latter including the likes of Hachette, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Phidal, Helen and Harper Collins.

A whole section is dedicated to Chinese-language books ranging from contemporary literature to classic works and comic books imported from Singapore.

Visitors are reminded of the ‘book city”s theme of mimicking a tropical rainforest with swaths of greens placed around every corner, while the children’s section is covered with wooden overhangs for added esthetic effects.

PNC launches its first ‘book city’ in June at a mall in southern Binh Duong Province, realizing the firm’s vision of opening bookstores large enough to house massive numbers of books for readers of different ages.

Bà Nà Hills named best golf course in Asia

Bà Nà Hills Golf Club was voted Asia’s Best Golf Course 2017 at the ceremony of the World Golf Awards held in Spain last weekend.

The Đà Nẵng course beat out 11 nominees, including Angkor Golf Resort of Cambodia, Black Mountain Championship Golf Course of Thailand and The 27 Club of China to take the title.

Bà Nà Hills was also selected as Việt Nam’s Best Golf Course of the year, besting Đà Lạt Golf Palace and Laguna Golf Lăng Cô and six other nominees.

It is the second year in a row that the club has been honoured at this event, which has become one of the most prestigious awards in the world of golf since it was held for the first time in 2014.

Last year, the Bà Nà Hills course was recognised as the World’s Best New Golf Course.

Designed by former world No 1 Luke Donald and managed by IMG, the par-72, 18-hole course is located at the foothills of the famed Bà Nà Hills on Việt Nam’s central coast, 25 minutes from downtown Đà Nẵng.

Its five sets of tees and balance of challenging and enjoyable terrain ensure players of all levels are assured a pleasurable round of golf.

Another Vietnamese winner at the Spanish ceremony was The Grand Hồ Tràm Strip, named the World’s Best Golf Hotel. Việt Nam was named Asia’s Best Golf Destination. 

Innovation in medical-ed highlighted

As Việt Nam and its Southeast Asian neighbours integrate into the ASEAN block, which will require the free movement of health care workers and patients, there is an urgent need to update the country’s system of medical education including university curricula and approaches to teaching and learning, according to medical professors.

Speaking at a two-day conference that ended on December 3 in HCM City, Professor David Gordon, president of the World Federation for Medical Education, said that a training programme should include not only basic science and clinical medicine, but also teaching ethics and medical law, which are clearly not optional.

Moreover, others subjects are important, such as health economics, anthropology and sociology, Gordon said.

“However, how do we decide how much should be offered in these subjects, and how they should be taught and learned?”

In thinking about these questions, medical universities should work with the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association, the World Medical Association, the International Committee of the Red Cross and others, he added.

Gordon also highlighted the importance of accreditation of medical education, which ensures that medical schools are educating doctors fit to serve the needs of the population where they function.

Accreditation also demonstrates to outside organisations and territories that accredited medical schools are competent and produce doctors at an accepted international standard, he added.

Peter Ellis, professor of Medicine and associate dean for Medical Education at Otago University in New Zealand and executive committee member of the Association for Medical Education in the Western Pacific Region, said that medical schools must have a programme of routine curriculum monitoring of processes and outcomes.

Currently, globalisation in medicine and medical education, medical migration, cross border education, and an explosion of medical schools are common challenges, Ellis said.

The First Annual National Vietnam Medical Education Conference with the theme of “Preparing the 21st Century Physician” was held by the University of Medicine and Pharmacy in HCM City, the Partnership for Health Advancement in Việt Nam and United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID’s) Improving Access, Curriculum and Teaching in Medical Education and Emerging Diseases (IMPACT-MED) Alliance.

Speaking at the conference, the US Chargé d’affaires to Việt Nam Caryn McClelland, said that a robust, well-trained reactive health workforce is critical to Việt Nam’s sustainable and equitable development.

“Comprehensive reform of health-education curriculum is a big undertaking but we are on the right track,” McClelland added.

Associate Professor Dr Nguyễn Văn Phúc, deputy minister of Education and Training, said that medical education in the world has innovated toward applying advanced technologies in teaching and learning, so the country should begin step-by-step to integrate into this innovation.

The conference attracted 400 leaders in medical education, students and faculty from Việt Nam and around the world. 

The conference aims to stimulate discussions among medical education experts, inspire further innovations, and foster a community of medical educators invested in advancing medical education, research, quality improvement and patient care.

Economic growth and demographic changes are driving demand for developing healthcare services throughout Việt Nam.

Having a responsibility for developing national strategies and programmes, planning and budgeting, manpower allocation and supervision of national institutions, the Việt Nam’s Ministry of Health encourages the improvement of the health care system and emphasises investing in medical education and primary care.

Vietnam participates in charity fair in India

Representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy in India and from other countries’ diplomatic agencies and international organisations based in New Delhi joined a charity bazaar in the capital city on December 3.

The Vietnamese booth showcased various kinds of handicrafts and coffee. Vietnamese foods “Pho” and “Nem” were also on offer.

The annual event, held by the Commonwealth Women’s Union in New Delhi, aims to raise funds for disadvantaged people in India.

The fair also aimed to promote cuisine cultural exchange between participating countries and India.

EU provides USD108m to develop national grid

The EU will give Vietnam USD108m in non-refundable ODA for energy development and to provide sustainable energy to rural, island and mountainous areas.  

Minister of Industry and Trade Thuong Tran Tuan and Director-General of the European Commission’s Directorate General for International Co-operation and Development Stefano Manservisi signed the EU-Vietnam Financial Agreement on December 1 at Brussels, Belgium. 

The project will be carried out from 2018 to 2020. Vietnam will invest in renewable energy and expand the electrical grid for areas in the programme on electricity supply to rural, mountainous areas and islands during 2016-2020 period.

It includes 23 smaller projects that provide electricity to rural and mountainous areas from the national grid. There will also be two projects that use renewable energy facilities in Cao Bang Province and Bach Long Vi Island, and projects to build two submarine electrical cables to Tran Island in Quang Ninh Province and Nhon Chau Island in Binh Dinh Province.

It is estimated that 60,000 households will gain electricity thanks to the projects. The smaller projects will also benefit the socio-economic development in remote areas and help erase poverty.

The local electricity industry is set to undergo reform to improve capacity, attract more investors to renewable energy projects and reduce dependency on state subsidies.

Fund raised for flood-affected people

More than VND1.1 billion (US$48,400) was raised to build flood-proof houses at a musical event in Hanoi on December 3.

Paintings and sculptures were auctioned for charity during the event.

The 19 households to benefit from the project were introduced at the event, including two each from Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, and Quang Nam, four from Soc Trang and nine from Khanh Hoa.

In 2018, the project aims to provide housing and financial assistance for flood-affected families in other regions, including the central, northern, the western and northern mountainous provinces.

It will also pilot sustainable village models by ensuring locals have clean water, toilets, and livelihoods.

The funds will also be used for training to enhance the capability of people to respond to natural disasters.

According to Pham Thi Huong Giang, who launched and runs the fund, the project funded half of the housing cost.

Previously, a similar event was held in HCM city on October 18, raising more than VND3.3 billion (US$193,600).

The project, which started in November 2013, has so far built 523 flood-proof houses, benefiting 2,092 people.

Over 900 form gigantic logo of HCM Communist Youth Union Congress

Hundreds of college students in Ho Chi Minh City took part in a dance ensemble creating a massive logo on December 3 to welcome the 11th National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union.

A giant logo of the 11th National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union is formed from hundreds of papers. 

Founded in 1931, the youth union is the largest organization of young people in Vietnam, with nearly ten million members aged 16 to 30 as of 2017.

Every five years, delegates from youth union chapters across the country meet at a national congress to vote on their direction for the next five years and select a six-member secretariat, the organization’s highest decision-making body.

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union is under the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam, serving as its “reserves.”

To welcome the 11th National Congress of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, set to commence in Hanoi on December 10, over 900 university students in Ho Chi Minh City gathered at the Youth Culture House in District 1 on December 3 morning for a dance ensemble.

Each performer held a piece of paper that together formed a giant logo of the congress.

Dancers were those partaking in an ongoing citywide competition to select ‘youth leaders’ – members of the municipal youth union chapter who excel in both academic endeavors and extracurricular activities.

The top ten contestants will participate in the final round poised to take place in January 2018.

Vietnamese youth bring film photography back in vogue

The time-consuming, meticulous art of shooting photos with physical films, or film photography, that was once thought to have seen its final days with the introduction of digital cameras is now slowly getting back in style in Vietnam thanks to the renewed interest of young local.

For these young dreamers, it is worth spending considerably more time on a photo to achieve the finest colors that digital filters just cannot compare.

At a time when taking photos is reduced to a touch on the smartphone screen, to go through all the hassles of shooting with a film camera, having the film developed, and scanning the final photo into a computer is clearly old-fashioned and an unnecessary waste of time.

Public disinterest in film photography led once big players in the industry like Yashica, Minolta and Pentax to fall into oblivion during the 2000s, as brands discontinued the production of more and more photographic films due to plummeting demand.

But it is only human nature to crave for what one lacks.

While people in the past were charmed by the revolutionary invention of digital cameras, those born in the digital age grow ever more curious about the technologies of their parents’ time.

And so they – the nostalgic children of the age of information – pick up the time-worn cameras of their forebears and begin exploring the buttons to manually adjust the shutter speed and aperture – parameters so easily configured with modern cameras’ automatic shooting modes.

Nguyen Tung Lam, 23, said he had been familiarizing himself with film photography since 2010.

After the first year of trying film cameras, the Hanoi-born youth said he never wanted to pick up a digital camera again, as they could never come close to producing the natural and vibrant colors found in film photos.

“Shooting with films makes me feel like I’m actually living in the past,” Lam said.

Film photography requires patience: from picking the right film for a desired color grade and ISO level to loading it into a camera, shooting, developing and scanning to achieve a final product, not to mention the ever-present chance of shooting overexposed photos due to light leaks.

But it is those very delicate details that fascinate film photographers.

“It is always a moment of unspeakable suspense to wait for the final product,” said 21-year-old Tran Quoc Viet. 

“As I only know how the photos look like after they are developed, it always appears to me that any photo is unique and singular, and that I can never capture the same moment ever again.

“Film photography not only tests a person’s patience but also their creativity, as there are no filters or alterations that can be added after a photo has been taken.

“It is not only a matter of skill, but also of emotion.”

Film Photo Club – a Facebook group with over 48,000 members who are passionate film photographers in Vietnam – is proof of the art’s revival in the Southeast Asian country.

Photos bearing the colors of the 70s and 80s are easy to be found on the group, taken and shared by youths who had not even been born during that time.

“We choose our film cameras like we would our lovers,” Lam said.

“There must be some kind of bond and sense of personal attachment.

“Film cameras detach themselves from the rise of digital technology.

“No matter how many new digital cameras are produced, film cameras will never lose their value.”

Thai sisters open junior golfers’ eyes to the world

For the first time, the young golfers of Vietnam today had an opportunity to learn directly from top-notch LPGA like Thai sisters Ariya Jutanugarn (May) and Moriya Jutanugarn (Mo) and were inspired by their amazing stories of conquering the professional golf world.

Golfers hung especially on the words of May who has made history by becoming the first ASEAN golfer to be ranked as the World’s No. 1 by LPGA in June 2017.

The Hanoi Department of Culture and Sports collaborated with SCG to bring the world-renowned May and Mo to Vietnam in the framework of the special project “Inspirational Golf Training” for 20 talented Vietnamese junior golfers.

The training has taken place in the morning at Sky Lake Golf Club & Resorts. During the training, the two sisters showed junior golfers important golfing skills. Young golfers learned the longest drive from Ariya, while putt accuracy was demonstrated by Moriya. Most importantly, the Thai sisters shared tips and personal stories on how to practice like world class professional golfers.

Ariya and Moriya were excited to visit Vietnam and were ever so eager to transfer their knowledge and experience to the youth.

“This is our first time visiting Vietnam and the country has welcomed us so warmly. We are also excited to meet these enthusiastic young golfers who we believe also have a lot of potential. We understand how hard it is for a golfer to reach the international stage, and it takes a lot of motivation and determination. Sports science also plays an important role in preparing athletes for tense competitions on the world-class level. We are pleased to share all these experiences with these Vietnamese junior golfers,” said May.

“Playing in LPGA is the dream of golfers. Reaching the top rank in the LPGA is not easy, but Mo and May made us believe that you can make any dream come true with dedication and passion. We will take this opportunity to learn from the Thai Sisters and practice to be excellent like them,” said Ms. Doan Xuan Khue Minh, junior golfer of the Vietnamese National Team at SEA Games 2017 in Malaysia.

The leading supporter for regional sports initiatives, SCG has sponsored football and badminton as these are the two most popular sports that ASEAN athletes stand the best chance of reaching the international stage.

After seeing the Jutanugarn sisters play in some amateur golf tournaments, the corporate decided to support them to bring out their talents at professional competitions. This was the first time SCG sponsors golf. In 2012, SCG officially announced its sponsorship for May and Mo as the sisters turned professional, marking an important milestone in their journey to put the ASEAN on the world golfing map.

SCG entered Vietnam in 1992, and since then has supported the human resources development of the country through education and sports. In terms of sports, SCG officially sponsors Hanoi Football Club in the 2017-2018 season, and is a collaborator behind the first “Street Football Festival” in Vietnam. Besides, the company has facilitated world-class training for potential badminton players in Ho Chi Minh City via sports science. This Inspirational Training is part of the corporation’s continuous efforts to bring a better living to Vietnamese people.

Dhep Vongvanich, president of SCG Vietnam, said, “SCG believes in the value of individuals and quality people can be the main factor in developing the country. We believe sport is one of the factors that can deliver a healthy lifestyle and well-being for everyone. This is the reason why we have sponsored potential athletes like Ariya and Moriya to reach the international stage. Their successes at the world’s toughest competitions in the LPGA Tour will be an inspiration for many young ASEAN golfers. And today, we are delighted to bring this great inspiration to Vietnam during this unique Inspirational Golf Training.”

Ariya J. (May) reached the 1st place in the LPGA world ranking in the middle of June 2017 after winning LPGA Manulife LPGA Classic 2017. She got the Rolex Player of the year award 2016 after winning five tournaments in the 2016 LPGA Yokohama Tire, including LPGA Classic, Kingsmill Championship, LPGA Volvik Championship, Ricoh Women’s British Open, and Canadian Pacific Women’s Open. She is ranked as the 5th golfer on the LPGA world ranking now. Thai people call her as “Pro May.” Her signature move is longest drive.

Moriya J. is 22nd on the LPGA world ranking. She ranked as the 5th of the birdies in 2017, with 416 birdies. She nearly got her first LPGA champion title by being second-runner up at the LPGA Evian championship 2017 and runner up at Blue Bay LPGA 2017. Thai people call her “Pro Mo.” Her specialty is putt accuracy.

The two of them together are known as “the Thai sisters.” These two sisters made LPGA history by getting the highest rewards (more than $1 million in a single year).

Vietnam-RoK festival attracts millions of visitors

The Ho Chi Minh City-Gyeongju World Culture Festival 2017 in the Vietnamese southern hub, which closed on December 3, attracted more than 4 million domestic and foreign visitors.  

The 23-day event featured the culture of Vietnam, the Republic of Korea (RoK), and 17 other countries. 

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Chairman of the Municipal People’s Committee Nguyen Thanh Phong affirmed the festival contributed to not only promoting images of land and people of Vietnam and the RoK but also enhancing mutual understanding among countries. 

The memorandum of understanding on friendship cooperation signed on the occasion of the festival between HCM City and Gyeongsangbuk-do province of the RoK is an important milestone and foundation for future cooperation between the two localities, Phong stressed.

Hosting the event showed Ho Chi Minh City’s dynamic role in international exchange activities, he added.  

Governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do Kim Kwan-yong said the success of the festival will open up new opportunities for the two localities to strengthen their ties, thus enhancing the friendship between Vietnam and the RoK. 

The RoK is currently the fourth largest investor in the Vietnamese southern hub with 1,300 projects in the economy, education, healthcare, tourism and culture.

The Gyeongju World Cultural Festival has been held biennially by Gyeongsangbuk-do province since 1998. It was held six times in the RoK and twice in other countries (Cambodia in 2006 and Turkey in 2013).

Office building inaugurated at Vietnam-Laos border checkpoint

An office building was inaugurated on December 3 at the Cau Treo border checkpoint between Vietnam’s Ha Tinh province and Laos’s Bolikhamsai province in the presence of Vietnamese Deputy PM Vuong Dinh Hue.

Construction on the building began in July 2011 at a total cost of VND214 billion (US$9.4 million).

The four-storey building will be used for diplomatic activities as well as for security and defence at the border area.

It will also be a symbol of culture, national sovereignty and the friendship between Vietnam and Laos.

The same day, Deputy PM Hue attended a ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the Ngan Truoi Hydropower Plant, which has a capacity of 13.5 megawatt and costs at an estimated VND340 billion (US$15 million).

The power station is expected generate 55 million kWh and produce revenues of VND60 billion, or US$2.64 million, a year.

As part of his visit to Ha Tinh province, Hue also offered incense and planted trees at a memorial temple dedicated to the 18th renowned doctor Le Huu Trac in Huong Son district.

Fundraising held in Hanoi to build houses for flood victims

More than VND 2.3 billion (US$100,000) was raised at a fundraising in Hanoi on December 3 to build flood resilient houses for households in areas frequently hit by natural disasters.

The money, which was raised through an auction of art works by famous Vietnamese painters and sculptors, will benefit households in Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam, Doc Trang and Khanh Hoa provinces.

Previously, the same event was held in Ho Chi Minh City on October 18 with more than VND 3.3 billion (US$145,000) being collected.

The fundraisings were organised under a crowd-funding project on building flood resilient houses for poor people across Vietnam, which was launched in November 2013 by Pham Thi Huong Giang. The project intends to create a safe living environment for the vulnerable communities, secure their livelihoods, and increase their resilience and climate change adaption.

Over the past four years, a total of 523 flood resilient houses have been built under the project, benefiting people in Quang Ninh, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Quang Nam and Soc Trang province.

Approximately 50 households in Mekong River Delta region also received assistance from the project team to cope with droughts and salt intrusion in 2016.

In 2018, the project will be expanded to facilitate access to clean water, improve hygienic conditions, and raise the capacity of climate change adaption for those who are vulnerable to natural disasters.

Da Lat farmer’s success with aeroponic vegetable growing model

A farmer in Da Lat city, in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, has successfully grown many kinds of vegetables in the air, aka aeroponics.

After a period of testing, Tran Huy Duong, owner of Langbiang Farm, in Xo Viet Nghe Tinh street, Ward 7, Da Lat city, has successfully developed his aeroponics model. His aeroponics garden covers about 500m2, cultivating nearly ten kinds of vegetables, including lettuces, kale, celery and spinach.

Under this cultivation method, vegetables are planted on a platform that is isolated half a metre from the ground. The roots of the vegetables are not directly attached to the soil or water (as in hydroponics cultivation) but are placed in coconut fiber bags.

Then each vegetable is planted on an apparatus with perforated holes in straight lines and the roots are suspended in the air and sealed with membranes. There is no water or soil in the rig, but only a mini water spraying system.

An automatic sprinkler system, which is pre-installed for spraying, pumps the nutrients to the vegetable apparatus through a mini-valve system. The vegetable root system absorbs water vapour with nutrients in order to grow. Every irrigation lasts just a few minutes, so that the water and fertiliser do not leak, thereby helping to save costs.

“As well as saving on costs, watering and fertilising using this method is suitable for leafy vegetables as nutrients aren’t sprayed onto the surface, thus keeping the vegetable leaves clean and uncontaminated with chemicals,” Duong affirmed.

According to Duong, he learned to construct the system from Dutch agricultural experts. However, in Vietnam, there aren’t any materials available for aeroponics, therefore Duong had to use local and common equipment to assemble an aeroponic system. Compared with the hydroponic system that is currently popular in Da Lat, the cost of building an aeroponic system is about 20% less and the cultivation time is also shorter by 7-10 days.

Over the past month, Duong’s farm has harvested over 1 tonne of aeroponic vegetables. Due to being grown in a greenhouse, together with a modern farming system, the quality is guaranteed as all vegetables meet the Vietnamese Good Agricultural Practices (VietGAP) standards. However, the price of aeroponic vegetable gas is about 2-3 times higher than that of traditional cultivation, so it is suitable for high class customers or large restaurants.

According to the Lam Dong’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Duong’s farm is the first to grow large-scale aeroponic vegetables in the province.

Lai The Hung, Head of the Cultivation and Plant Protection Department (under Lam Dong Department of Agriculture and Rural Development), said that aeroponic farming is favourable to control fertiliser residue. If this model can be widely replicated, Da Lat vegetables would have more competitive advantages in the high-grade vegetable segment in the country, Hung added.

Autumn Meeting held in Danang

“The Autumn Meeting 2017”, an annual international film get-together, is taking place in the central resort of Danang from now until December 5, reports Sai Gon Giai Phong newspaper.

More than 100 local and international filmmakers from South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Denmark, Brazil and France, among others, are showing up at the fifth annual event.

This is a rare opportunity for local filmmakers to meet up and share experiences with colleagues from different parts of the world. The event also includes numerous activities such as film screenings, workshops and talks.

During the event, an actor training program for young people will be conducted by Vietnamese French director Tran Anh Hung, South Korean actress Lydia Park, movie star Moon Sori, director Yim Soon Rye and Vietnamese French actress Tran Nu Yen Khe.

Musical performance marks 25 years of Vietnam-Korea ties

A Vietnam-Republic of Korea friendship musical night was held at Hanoi Opera House on the evening of December 3 to mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

The event brought together famous Vietnamese and Korean artists such as Huong Tram, Bao Anh, and Soobin Hoang Son, Ailee, Min and well-known Korean pianist Yiruam, who delivered special performances.

Contemporary and traditional musical works provided an insight into cultural similarities as well as development trend of arts and music of both nations.

Prize ” Red Ribbon 2017″ responses to World AIDS Day

The Vietnam Network of People Living with HIV (VNP+) under the sponsor of the Vietnam Administration of HIV/AIDS Control and AIDS Prevention Center in Ho Chi Minh City yesterday organized the third award ceremony of “Red Ribbon 2017′. 

This year ceremony themed “No discrimination toward people living with HIV and vulnerable people” was organized in the World AIDS Day and the action month of the National Prevention of HIV/AIDS. It attracted participation of celebrities like People’s Actress Bach Tuyet, Trinh Kim Chi, Thoai My, designer Sy Hoang.

The prize for organization, individual that worked for the benefit of community was given to the Group Nu Cuoi ( Smile) for its efforts in helping teenagers living with HIV since 2004.

Red Ribbon prize were given two good examples – Ngo Thi Mong Linh in Ho Chi MInh City and Ngo Lien from the northern province of Yen Bai. Two women living with the fatal disease spent their time assisting other infected people to live healthily and usefully,

Additionally, the prize also honored those who took part in activities to help drug addicts, sex workers, homosexual people and transgender people, and helpful medical workers.

Chief organizer Nguyen Anh Phong said with the theme ” No discrimination toward people living with HIV”, the prize aims to reduce discrimination against HIV infected people, drug addicts, sex workers, homosexual people and transgender people as well as improve their role in the society.

Praising (VNP+)’s silent devotion in fighting the disease for years, head of the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Nguyen Hoang Long said that stigma and discriminatory attitudes impeded HIV positive people to access to health-care services. He stressed Vietnam only achieve 90-90-90 goal only when stigma and discriminatory attitudes are eliminated.

First organized in 2015, the annual prize was held with the aim to lauding HIV carriers who live healthily and useful as well as help improve others’ awareness of the disease in a bid to reduce stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV.

HCMC to improve disabled people’s lives

Though Ho Chi Minh City provides training of massage skills to disabled people, restricted issuance of massage parlors causes difficulties for people with disabilities to earn living. This is one of the stories that prevent disable people from integration into the society and earning their living.

The city has 49,700 people with disabilities; 43,500 people are social welfare beneficiaries while nearly 4,000 homeless and alone elderly people are taken care of in 11 public social houses and 523 other are residing in private houses.

Since the beginning of the year, 400 disabled people have received vocational training while nearly 1,700 others are employed. Moreover, they get free buses and visits to museums , libraries…

The Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs in coordination with the Department of Health to propose HCMC authorities to add massage into the vocational training for people with visual impairment.

Happy with the news, Ms. Dao Thi Le Xuan in Binh Thanh District said that massage job is suitable for blindness people and most of blind people earn living with the job. Nevertheless, the city authorities are restricted in issuing permit of opening massage parlor though applicants are disabled people.

Ms. Xuan said where disabled people work if the government is restricted in the matter while Nguyen Van Thanh, another disabled people, said the government should be ” open” to massage parlor owned by visual impaired people to assist them.

In other side, for years, HCMC has implemented special policies for disable people by providing them free buses. The Department of Transport has organized training courses to employees’ behaviors to disabled people as well as repair buses to facilitate special customers. However, there is discrimination against people with disabilities.

Worse, banks refused to provide ATM account to disabled people. Ms. Dao Thi Le Xuan said that when the bank discovered she is a disabled person, it deleted her name out of the list of people to receive ATM card. Two other banks required her to have supervisors to be eligible for having ATM card.

Deputy Chief of Social Sponsor Division of the Department of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs Vo Minh Hoang said that he will liaise with banks upon ATM issuance for disabled people.. moreover, in next time , the Department will organize employment fair for disable people as well as provide life skills to people with disabilities and rehabilitation training to disable people’s relatives.

Furthermore, the Department will propose the People’s Committee to implement policies of housing for these special people.

Health sector, authorities must simplify administrative procedures

Chairwoman of the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Nguyen Thi Quyet Tam asked the health sector and administrations to simplify administrative procedures to facilitate people in buying medical insurance and services. 

The chairwoman made the station at a TV program themed ” Medical Insurance for people – Treatment Quality” held by the municipal People’s Council and HCMC Television yesterday.

She also ordered infirmaries in the districts to improve quality of treatment to attract more patients.

Governments must create good condition for private hospital to take part in providing medical service for people with insurance cards aiming to reduce pressure for public facilities.

Moreover, administrators in districts have to increase information of people’s benefits in purchasing health insurance, she said.

All agencies not alone the health sector take heed to improve treatment quality to expand the coverage of health insurance to the entire population, she stressed.

Luu Thi Thanh Huyen, vice director of the HCMC Social Insurance, said after eight year implementation of Medical Insurance Law, HCMC achieved remarkable results with increasingly impressive coverage of medical insurance; moreover, treatment quality is improved much with more hi-tech medical services to be paid by health insurance fund.

The coverage rate of medical insurance in HCMC is 81 percent, 1 percent lower than the nations’.

Explaining that, Ms. Huyen said out of 6.7 million people participated in health insurance in the city, over 5 million receive assistance of the government fully or partially and laborers are paid by their employers while the rate of voluntary buyers is very low.

She added in 2017, the insurance agency issued over 1,600 medical insurance cards to households. At present, around half of residents in HCMC have not purchased insurance. This is a big challenge for health sector to achieve the 90 percent goal.

In the program, some participants said that there have been hiccups along the way; for instance, how to encourage laborers without permanent residency registration in HCMC to buy insurance.

Ms. Huyen said that workers in industrial parks without permanent residency registration, local governments will confirm the names of people in the rented houses, insurance agency will help people to buy medical insurance.

To achieve the goal of 90 percent residents in HCMC to have medical insurance by 2020, Ms. Tam asked local party unions and governments to consider it as one of important duties.

In next time, the health sector and the insurance agency will liaise closely to solve barriers along the way to provide best service to people.

Twenty-five million insured patients have had examination and treatment in first nine months, 12 percent up compared to same period last year. To attract patients, the Department of Health focused on improving healthcare quality by investing in facilities and developing hi-tech departments. 

Additionally, it opened more satellite medical clinics, developed family doctor model, and expanded emergency network 115 citywide. Hospitals are forced to follow treatment plans guided by the Ministry of Health, said Deputy Head of the Department of Health Dr. Tang Chi Thuong.

US to support Vietnam in medical education and health care

The Vietnam Ministry of Health in collaboration with the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy, the Partnership for Health Advancement in Vietnam (HAIVN) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) yesterday organized the First Annual National Vietnam Medical Education Conference.

The conference titled “Preparing the 21st Century Physician” with its target of medical education innovation, bringing medical universities into the 21st century with innovative pedagogical methods for teaching medical students as well as patient care.

Speaking at the conference, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Vietnam Caryn McClelland said that Government of the United States is extremely proud to be a partner of Vietnam in the fields of medical education and healthcare.

The country pledged to help organizations in improving the life quality for Vietnamese people through the Alliance for Improving Access, Curriculum and Teaching in Medical education and Emerging Diseases (IMPACT MED) sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The project was organized by the Agency for Vietnam Health Development Cooperation, the Vietnam medicine and pharmacy universities, Government of Vietnam and private companies.

Additionally, the first Annual National Vietnam Medical Education Conference is considered as a special chance for educators and leaders from the country’s medical universities to share their innovative ideas and advances in the medical education in Vietnam and the world.

The event has attracted the participation of students and leaders from medical universities in Vietnam and the Southeast Asia region, representatives from the Vietnam Ministry of Health and Ministry of Education and Training, private partners …

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