Management on bird flu to be strengthened

Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Thien Nhan asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) to monitor the bird flu epidemic and keep the public updated in a recent official document.

Specifically, Nhan asked relevant ministries – including the ministries of health, public security and industry and trade – to join hands in checking poultry products' safety and cracking down on illegal poultry transporting and trading.

He also asked provincial and urban people's committees to co-operate with the Ha Noi People's Committee to locate and punish violators.

Director of the MARD's Animal Health Department Pham Van Dong said yesterday, March 19, that blue-ear disease, which affects pigs, and foot-and-mouth disease, which strikes other livestock, had spread quickly in the central provinces including Nghe An, Quang Nam and Quang Tri.

In Nghe An Province, nearly 400 pigs died.

Dong blamed the spread of the disease on illegal livestock transporting and trading.

Local authorities and animal health workers also neglected to take adequate preventive measures, he said.

The epidemic struck more than 600 pigs in Thanh Hoa Province. Nearly 200 of them were culled.

The Thanh Hoa Department of Agriculture and Rural Development asked commune authorities to isolate sick livestock, vaccinate healthy animals and set up quarantine stations.

Forum on workers’ right to information

Businesses must facilitate workers’ access to information on labour issues and corporate social responsibility, said participants at a forum in Ho Chi Minh City on March 19.

At the forum, Florian Beranek, chief technical advisor of a project to help Vietnam’s small- and medium-sized enterprises adopt corporate social responsibility, said workers are extremely important to the existence and development of businesses.

However, due to the lack of information they are not aware of their responsibilities and rights, he added.

Meanwhile, senior expert of the Vietnam General Confederation of Labour (VGCL)’s Legal Policy Department Le Dinh Quang said sharing information and consultations between employers and employees have not yet developed.

Emplyees know little about their business’ situation apart from their own tasks, and only 60 percent of operating businesses have collective labour agreements, he added.

Participants touched upon corporate social responsibility, the application of the revised 2012 Labour Code, the law on trade unions and a national scheme on the education of labour laws.

HSBC supports disadvantaged children

The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) will benefit nearly 19,000 disadvantaged Vietnamese children through two projects worth more than US$496,000.

The Dariu Foundation and Maison Chance—two charitable organisations included in the HSBC’s Future First Funding Cycle—will run the projects.

Future First will offer street children and orphans educational opportunities like life skills courses and provide vocational training for less fortunate adolescents in Vietnam.

HSBC Sustainable Development Committee President Scott Solberg said he hopes that close coordination with Vietnamese non-governmental organisations will ensure the effective use of his corporation’s funding, meeting community demands and benefiting children over the long term.

Since launching in 2007, Future First has funded 28 projects worth US$1.19 million, helping more than 72,100 Vietnamese teenagers.

Illegal timber chopping boards intercepted

A 27-year-old truck driver was found smuggling nearly 1,000 chopping boards made from valuable timber in the northern Hai Duong Province's Gia Loc District.

The boards were made from rare nghien (Burretio-dendron hsienmu) wood and the driver failed to submit the legal document for them.

Nghien wood, an endangered species of flowering plant of the Tiliaceae family, is found in Viet Nam and China.

Local authorities are investigating.

Public-private models prove effective in fight against TB

The public-private-mix (PPM) models in HCM City have contributed significantly to the control of tuberculosis in the city, experts said.

Last year PPM models helped detect more than 12,600 TB cases confirmed by positive smears of sputum, accounting for 18.5 per cent of the total TB cases in the city, said Dang Minh Duong, doctor from Pham Ngoc Thach Pulmonary Tuberculosis Hospital.

The models also helped receive more than 2,200 TB patients for treatment as well as detect 19 per cent of sources of infection last year, Duong said at a conference held yesterday in the city.

The models, which were launched in 2009, include referring people with presumptive TB to the national tuberculosis programme (NTP) network for testing, diagnosis and treatment.

The strong partnership of private and public hospitals, clinics and pharmacies resulted in early detection of people with presumptive TB. They were referred to national tuberculosis facilities for diagnosis and treatment, he said.

The PPM model in which people with presumptive TB are referred to the NTP network will be scaled up to all districts in the city between 2013 and 2016, said Phan Thanh Liem, doctor from Pham Ngoc Thach Pulmonary Tuberculosis Hospital.

Eleven private and public hospitals and clinics will also be assisted to conduct testing and treatment for TB patients during the period, Liem said.

Viet Nam ranks 12 out of 22 countries with high burden of tuberculosis (TB) and ranks 14 out of 27 countries with a high burden of multidrug-resistant TB, according to Nguyen Tan Binh, director of HCM City's Department of Health.

More than 100,000 TB patients receive treatment nationwide every year. Patients in HCM City account for 13-15 per cent, Binh said.

Private pharmacies and clinics are often the first point of contact for people with TB, accounting for 30 per cent of diagnosed cases, although the national tuberculosis programme which offers free treatment for TB patient, has covered all public hospitals and clinics nationwide, he said.

Since 2011 the PPM for TB control, with technical assistance from PATH, a catalyst for global health, has been implemented in districts 8, Binh Chanh, Binh Tan and Thu Duc in HCM City.

The programme detects presumptive TB early. Under the programme, medical services at private clinics and pharmacies refer patients with presumptive TB to NTP facilities for diagnosis and treatment, he said.

Oxfam Quebec helps Ha Giang tackle human trafficking

Oxfam Quebec, a non-governmental organisation of Canada, has helped the northernmost province of Ha Giang to combat human traffickers and related crime.

The five-month project, called “Community-based anti-human trafficking and safe migration”, was carried out in the communes of Lung Tao and Pho La, Dong Van district and Minh Tan and Thanh Thuy, Vi Xuyen district from November last year through March this year.

Bordering China, Ha Giang has six out of its 11 districts classified as extremely poor. Educational levels differ among ethnic groups. Many ethnic women are illiterate and vulnerable to trafficking. Under the VND960 million project, Oxfam worked with the Ha Giang Women’s Association train local staff and people in anti-human trafficking work.

Motorbike taxi drivers, who might be directly or indirectly involved in human trafficking, in the two districts, were equipped with knowledge and skills to handle human trafficking –related incidents.

Thousands of ethnic people in the border communes of Dong Van and Vi Xuyen districts took part in a host of anti-human trafficking activities.

During the period, an anti-human trafficking club was established in each of the four districts involved in the project.

Le Thi Bich Hang, President of the Ha Giang Women’s Association, said the project of Oxfam Quebec-launched models will be maintained and multiplied across the province.

Teenager drowns after saving three others

A 15-year-old schoolgirl has died after saving three other teenagers from drowning in a canal in the southern Can Tho Province's Vinh Thanh District, the local people's committee chairman, Nguyen Van Phuoc, said on Monday.

The eighth grade pupil, Thai Thi Kim Ngan, and the other three, including her younger sister, were swimming in the Cai San canal when they suffered cramp.

Ngan pushed them to the bank but she failed to make it. Her body was found the next day.

Baby dies following fatal vaccination

A four-month-old baby has died after being vaccinated with Quinvaxem in the Central Highlands Lam Dong Province's Da Lat City.

The victim was injected with the vaccine last Friday morning and died the following afternoon after suffering a fever, according to her mother.

Tran Thi Hanh, head of the local health station, said the other 143 infants who received the same vaccine remained healthy.

The vaccine, included in lot No 1453127, has been sent to the Pasteur Institute in HCM City for testing.

Smuggled poultry seized from buses

Over 13,000 domestic poultry without legal proof of origin were seized in the central province of Quang Binh's Bo Trach District early yesterday morning, March 19.

They were found on two buses travelling south route. The drivers failed to submit the animal quarantine certificate to police.

The poulty was handed over to the local Environment Police Department and will be treated in line with regulations.


MARD, bird flu, disadvantaged children, TB