Social News 24/3

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Deputy PM urges intensified care for the elderly

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has asked ministries, sectors and localities to focus on designing and implementing laws and policies to support and provide care for the elderly in Vietnam.

While presiding over a meeting in Hanoi on March 20 to discuss the implementation of the 2015 action plan of the National Committee on Ageing, Deputy PM Dam urged effective policies and programmes benefitting the elderly in line with the context of each locality and current regulations.

According to the Deputy PM’s guidance, the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) is to work with relevant ministries, sectors and agencies to examine the implementation of the 2009 Law on the Elderly and the National Action Programme on the Elderly for 2011-2015.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health was asked to intensify communication efforts to raise public awareness of the social responsibility to care for the elderly, as well as establish more geriatric wards in hospitals.

Projects to support and improve the spiritual life of the elderly will include reducing ticket fares to visit historical and cultural relic sites and cultural, sport and tourism activities.

Deputy PM Dam, who is also Head of the National Committee on Ageing, asked the Vietnam Association of the Elderly to expeditiously establish an action month for the elderly or organise related events.

Statistics show that there are more than 9.4 million elderly people in the nation, accounting for 10.45% of the total population.

Currently, nearly 2.8 million people are receiving retirement pensions and social insurance benefits with over 1.5 million receiving monthly social allowance.

Geriatric wards have been established in hospitals in 49 provinces and cities nationwide thus far, up 20 localities from 2013.

The Vietnam Association of the Elderly’s local chapters work to conduct practical activities, positively contributing to the country’s renewal process, socio-economic development and poverty reduction.

Nick Vujicic talks with 500 disadvantaged children


The famous inspirational speaker Nick Vujicic had a talk with nearly 500 disadvantaged children at the HCMC Television Theater yesterday.

This is the first talk in the program under theme “Shining Vietnamese Will 2015 – Nick, You and I” that was held by Vietnam Youth Federation, HCMC Police Newspaper and steel manufacturer Hoa Sen Group.

All inspirational stories, questions were given at the speech, aiming to guideline people to overcome difficulties, challenges in life as well as to reach life purpose.

This is the third times that the speaker with no arms and legs has arrived in Vietnam, aiming to send an inspirational message in life “Never give up”.

The event has taken place in three areas, including Ho Chi Minh City, the central province of Nghe An and Highland province of Lam Dong. After Ho Chi Minh City, Nick Vujicic is scheduled to meet and talk to disable students and workers in Lam Dong and Nghe An on March 23.

Over 2.500 children inoculated with Quinvaxem vaccine

More than 2.500 children were taken to medical clinics to receive free-of-charge Quinvaxem vaccine across the country, said the Ministry of Health on March 22.

To overcome the temporary shortage of five-in-one Pentaxim vaccine and six-in-one Infanrix Hexa vaccine the Ministry asked all medical clinics to convince parents to bring their children to medical clinics for five-in-one Quinvaxem vaccine made in the South Korean. The vaccine is reported to prevent five common, potentially fatal childhood diseases: diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), pertussis (P, whooping cough), hepatitis B (HepB), and Haemophilus influenza type b (Hib) in the National Expanded Immunization Program.

The country has 40 medical clinics and most are located in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi that carry out the National Expanded Immunization Program.

Chief of the Department of Preventive Medicine Dr. Tran Dac Phu said that Quinvaxem vaccine had some common side effects after an immunization including swelling or redness where children have had the injection, being irritable and feeling unwell, or getting fever.

Despite all post-vaccination side effects, parents should take their babies for inoculation because the vaccine will help to prevent the diseases, the Department chief said.

Though Quinvaxem vaccine causes more post-vaccination side-effects vaccines than have- to -pay vaccines like Pentaxim and Infanrix Hexa this vaccine has more antigen, he said.

It is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it after it occurs, he added.

The Ministry of Health has urged parents to take their children to medical clinics for enough vaccination to prevent diseases actively.

The Ministry also provided more information about vaccines in disease prevention. Thanks to a vaccine, one of the most terrible diseases in history – smallpox – no longer exists outside the laboratory. Over the years vaccines have prevented countless cases of disease and saved millions of lives.

New-born baby girl removed parasitic tumor

Dr. Truong Quang Dinh, deputy head of the Children Hospital No.2 yesterday said that surgeons have successfully removed a tumor parasitizing in a baby girl from the central highlands province of Lam Dong.

When the mother was 20 week- pregnant, through the Ultrasonic testing, doctors discovered the fetus had a big strange tumor.

Right after the baby girl was born at 38 week of pregnancy in Tu Du Maternity Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City then the baby was transferred to the Children Hospital No.2 for an operation.

After the 3 hour operation, doctors have removed a 900 gram tumor from the baby girl who weighed 2.4 kilogram later. According to medical workers, the tumor is a parasitic fetus which has head, limbs and guts.

The baby girl’s health condition is stable after the operation.

The hospital covers all costs of the operation as per the regulation.

Hoa Binh to benefit from WB-funded healthcare project

District and provincial hospitals in the northern province of Hoa Binh will has their capacity enhanced under a healthcare project funded by the World Bank which is carried out this year.

Hoa Binh is among northeastern and Red River Delta provinces to benefit from the so-called NORRED project.

The project, which has a total investment of 2.96 million USD, is funded through a credit loan by the World Bank.

In addition to upgrading hospital facilities, the plan will also help reduce financial burdens and improve access for impoverished residents to healthcare services by subsidizing health insurance for those living near the poverty line.

At a March 20 conference on measures to carry out the project, it was reported that five hospitals in Hoa Binh will be upgraded this year.

Japanese firm keen to treat organic waste in Can Tho

A Japanese firm producing organic waste treatment systems is seeking a cooperation opportunity to run a trial in the Mekong Delta City of Can Tho.

During a working session with the Can Tho People’s Committee on March 19, company representative Makoto Tokuoka said the firm has successfully operated a cost-efficient organic waste treatment system in Hiroshima prefecture in Japan.

In Hiroshima, the system treats organic waste with available bacteria in the environment, Makoto said, adding that part of the treated waste can be used as safe organic agricultural fertiliser.

During the trial period, the firm will run a JICA-funded small-scale treatment system with an average daily capacity of 100 kilograms operated by a consultation team of Japanese experts.

It will work with the Can Tho University to determine existing bacteria in Vietnamese wood to use in the system.

The company also plans to establish a production factory to provide for the Vietnamese market and the regional market in the long run.

Vice Chairman of the Committee Dao Anh Dung lauded the initiative, saying that the city will facilitate the project implementation.

Can Tho is also offering incentives for investors in advanced technology solid waste treatment in the locality in an effort to protect the environment.-

Effective water use necessary for sustainable development: Deputy PM

Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai underlined the importance of effective water use for sustainable development during his speech at a meeting to celebrate the 2015 World Water Day in the northern province of Bac Giang on March 20.

Water is the foundation of poverty reduction, economic growth, and environmental sustainability, Hai stressed, adding that it impacts not only food security, energy, health and environmental protection, but also contributes to improving social welfare, comprehensive development and livelihoods.

Vietnam’s water reserves are depleting, especially in the context of increasing demand, severe pollution and exhaust, and excessive and wasteful exploitation.

For these reasons, it is necessary to design policies to enhance cooperation among relevant sectors to ensure sustainable water resource development, Hai noted.

The Deputy PM urged localities, sectors, organisations and individuals to effectively manage and use water, thereby contributing to promoting poverty reduction and economic growth towards reaching the millennium development goal on protecting the environment.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Minh Quang voiced that water resources play a major and indispensable role in sustainable development and are an urgent requirement for humankind’s existence.

Themed “Water is at the core of sustainable development”, the 2015 World Water Day aims to raise public awareness of the relationship between water and sustainable development as well as promote dialogues to solve related issues.

A workshop spotlighting the importance of water for sustainable development was held in Bac Giang on March 19 as part of activities in response to 2015 World Water Day.

Reports presented at the event focused on analysing the current context of water resources in Vietnam and seeking measures to manage and sustainably develop water resources to serve the country’s socio-economic targets.

The event offered an opportunity for managers, businesses, scientists and students to share initiatives, models and solutions to solve problems concerning water and sustainable development.

Each year, World Water Day highlights a specific aspect of freshwater, consolidating the valuable resource’s role in the sustainable development agenda.

According to the UN Water, by 2025 1.8 billion people will be living in countries or regions with absolute water scarcity and two-thirds of the world’s population will be living under water-stressed conditions.

Lai Chau reduces poverty with local crops

Authorities in northern Lai Chau province are making efforts to promote local crops and raise incomes for local residents, aiming to reduce hunger and poverty.

The promoted crops include cassava, bananas and edible canna, which are highly suitable for the conditions in Ma Ly Pho commune in Phong Tho district, one of the poorest localities in the province with a rate of impoverished households exceeding 70 percent.

According to Ly Ta May, a banana grower in the commune, a hectare of bananas can generate 180 million VND (8,400 USD) for a six-month crop, five times that of growing rice.

May has nearly 300 banana trees and plans to plant 200 more to increase family income.

Cassava is also a high-yield crop. Its rich starch has attracted a number of traders to the locality, boosting its per kilogramme price from 8,000 VND (38 cents) to 1,500 VND (71 cents).

This year, Lu Van Pao from Son Than 2 village earns 40 million VND (1,870 USD) from four hectares of cassava.

He is one of the highest earners in the locality from cassava, with his average income ranging between 20-30 million VND (900-1,400 USD) annually.

Lo Van Ty, Chairman of the Ma Ly Pho communal People’s Committee, said happily that, these crops, which were once underestimated, are bringing sustainable source of income for local people.

The commune has zoned off nearly 30 percent of its land to develop these crops, aiming to reduce the local impoverished household rate to below 30 percent.-

Dak Lak farmers suffer from lack of water

Nearly 900 households in the Central Highlands province of Dak Lak are in the grip of a severe water shortage as a result of an extended drought.

Thousands of farmers in remote districts are grappling with the situation, with those in Krong Bong suffering the most as almost all of wells there have dried up altogether.

Y Krial Bya, Vice Chairman of the Yang Reh communal People’s Committee, said he was very worried as the number of households lacking water for daily use is increasing, especially those in ethnic minority areas.

A facility supplying clean water for 167 ethnic households in the commune has gradually degraded since its opening in 2007. Now it is only capable of providing sufficient water for 60 families, he said.

If the dry weather continues until the end of March, the suffering households in Krong Bong district will climb to 1,500, he noted.

Even in the province’s Buon Ma Thuot city, the water supply is running low, and has even been cut off for short periods of time.

According to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, as of the end of March, around 6,000 households in the far-flung districts might not have access to water should the drought continue.

Local authorities have called on residents to use water economically, share it with others, dredge dry wells, and seek groundwater for daily use.

The province also directed competent sectors to examine ineffective clean water supplying facilities and seek clean water for people in remote areas in the foreseeable future and the long run.

Provincial Muslim representative committee convenes third congress

The Muslim Community Representative Committee in the Mekong Delta province of An Giang convened its third congress in Chau Phong commune in Tan Chau township on March 19.

The congress appointed 17 committee members for the 2015-2020 term.

Home to more than 15,000 Muslims, An Giang currently houses 12 mosques and 16 smaller Islamic structures, most of which are located in Chau Doc and Long Xuyen cities, Tan Chau township, and An Phu, Chau Thanh, and Chau Phu districts.

The committee has worked with local authorities in recent years to help the Islamic Cham ethnic group improve their livelihood, open Vietnamese-Cham bilingual classes at primary schools, and organise the annual sport and tourism festival.

Deputy Minister of Home Affairs Pham Dung, who is also Head of the Government Committee for Religious Affairs, valued the socio-economic achievements made by the local Islamic Cham people.

He also appreciated the committee’s efforts in disseminating the Party and State’s guidelines and policies on religion to local Muslims.

During the 2015-2020 tenure, the committee plans to uphold its achievements by continuing to foster school attendance and provide children with improved healthcare services. It will also call upon religious followers to engage in poverty alleviation and the Government-initiated new-style rural area building programme.

Rural bridge building programme benefits Thai Nguyen

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union (HCM CYU)’s chapter in the northern province of Thai Nguyen is constructing 10 bridges in rural areas of the locality.

The event is part of activities to celebrate the 84th founding anniversary of the HCM CYU and to respond to the new-style rural area building movement of the local youth.

Work commenced on the first bridge in Binh Thanh commune, Dinh Hoa district, which will be 18 metres in length and 4 metres in width.

The project, with a total investment of around 1.5 billion VND, is scheduled to become operational in October 2015.

The province’s HCM CYU has presented 20 scholarships and 100 notebooks to poor students studying in primary and junior high schools in Binh Thanh commune.

Thai Nguyen is one of the few mountainous localities benefiting from the Government’s rural bridge building programme, which the Central Committee of HCM CYU was assigned to implement.

Under the programme, Thai Nguyen’s HCM CYU will work with local authorities to construct 10 bridges in Dinh Hoa, Dong Hy, Phu Luong and Phu Binh districts.

Six of the 10 are expected to be completed in 2015 and the remaining four will be erected in 2016.

Trained help for home hard to find

The application of regional or international labour standards for Vietnamese domestic workers would be unlikely to work at present, despite an ASEAN model introduced by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) last month.

The Regional Model Competency Standards (RMCS) for Domestic Work was developed based on five criteria – basic communication skills, cleaning and basic housekeeping, cooking and food handling, caring for infants and children, caring for elderly people and caring for household pets and plants.

“It is hard to say whether Viet Nam is able to apply this advanced model,” said Tran Thi Hong, head of the Gender Equality Division at the Institute for Family and Gender Studies.

Despite a series of decree and circulars issued by the Government and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs nearly a year ago, no reports have been made about the number of domestic workers monitored.

Other reports on the number of labour contracts as well as whether health insurance and social insurance had been fully bought for domestic workers were also said to be “in the mist”.

Meanwhile, many domestic workers showed no interest in training so that they could improve their skills.

“I don’t want to take training classes as they are a waste of time and money and unnecessary as I am old already,” domestic worker Nguyen Thi Thuy, 52, said.

Thuy has worked as a domestic helper for eight years and has never received any training.

For others, the difference in their wages before and after training was not enough to bother about.

“Domestic workers spend VND2-3 million (US$95-140) for training classes, but usually got no more than untrained workers. This prompted many not to come to our classes anymore,” said Ha Noi-based company director Nguyen Thu Xinh from the Thu Xinh company.

Nguyen To Lien, whose family struggled for months to find a domestic worker to look after her twin granddaughters, said that she did not care if the workers were properly trained.

“Now the demand for domestic workers is very high and it is very hard to find one who is trustworthy and agrees to work for a reasonable price. We can train the helper later when she gets down to her job,” Lien said.

Forest protection project takes root in Binh Thuan

The central province of Binh Thuan has benefitted from a project restoring and managing its protective forest, furthering sustainable development and bio-diversity protection in the locality.

The US$5.26 million project, sourced from the Japanese Government’s official development assistance and Vietnamese state funding, has been implemented in six mountainous areas since 2012.

To date, the project’s managing board has zoned off an area of 4,200 hectares for natural forest regeneration while building a 15 kilometre road as part of the effort to develop forest infrastructure. Furthermore, six forest protection stations have been set up with adequate equipment to effectively control forest fires.

The project has made great contributions to raising public awareness in the importance of rehabilitating the forest and protecting its bio-diversity.

In a bid to increase the project’s efficiency, the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is planning to integrate the project’s components with the national “new-style rural area” programme, further supporting local residents in the zoned areas.

Binh Thuan is currently home to over 317,000 hectares of forest land, accounting for 50% of the province’s natural land. These abundant resources play a vital role in regulating the climate in the region as well as in the central coastal areas.

However, the province’s acreage of forest land has suffered from degradation, decreasing 31,000 hectares since 2001.

Workers must keep track of contracts

Many Vietnamese workers are not able to find their work contracts or have not even seen one. This is despite regulations set out in the country’s Labour Code that stipulate employees must be given a copy of their work contract.

Pham Thi Yen, a worker at the Thang Long Industrial Park in Ha Noi, said she lost her copy after she moved to a new apartment a few years ago. While she understood that this might lead to future complications, she didn’t think much of it.

“Everything is going just fine. I’m not that worried about it,” she said. When asked if she was aware of what was written in the contract she said she could not remember.

Ly Manh Dung, another worker in the Thang Long Industrial Park said he did not know why he had to keep a copy.

“It is not big deal, is it? I still have it, but I never had any use for it until now,” Dung said.

He said workers often signed contracts without reading them carefully. Most did not have a clear understanding of all the terms and agreements set out in the agreement.

While some workers are not aware of the importance of keeping a copy, others are afraid to ask for one, not knowing it is in their legal interests to do so.

President of the Workers’ Union for industrial parks in northern Thai Binh Province, Le Giang, said that without a contract, it was difficult to protect workers’ rights when conflicts arose in a relationship between employer and employee.

“We had to resort to collecting copies of their pay checks every month just to establish there was a relationship at all,” said Giang, “it often required a lot more work and time to address a complaint.”

Vu Thi Huong, deputy director of a legal consulting centre in Ha Noi said that workers without a work contract created numerous loopholes that could be exploited to their disadvantage. In some cases, employers even modified the duration of workers’ contract without them knowing.

“I always advise workers to carefully read the contract before signing and to keep copies with them just in case,” Huong said, adding that in recent years, workers’ awareness of the matter had improved, but still left much to be desired.

Huong added that the contract was one of best documents to settle disputes between workers and employers.

Short-term jobs open for holiday season

Job recruitment centres in HCM City are looking for students and other part-time workers for seasonal jobs during the upcoming holiday (Liberation Day) period beginning on April 30.

The HCM City Centre for Human Resource Forecasting and Labour Information says it needs 7,000 students and the HCM City Youth and Vocational Training Centre students. Most of them will work in service, sales and goods delivery.

Nguyen Trong Hoang, head of the student’s life assistance division under the Students Assistance Centre, told Sai Gon Giai Phong (Liberated Sai Gon) that enterprises, managers of restaurants and small food stores need to hire nearly 1,000 students.

The salary would be VND17,000-19,000 per hour at restaurants, cafes and small food stores. Product sales staff would receive VND200,000-250,000 (US$9.5-11.9) per eight-hour shift.

Earlier this month, the HCM City Youth Employment Introduction and Vocational Training Centre began a job-assistance programme at local bus stations.

More than 1,000 people visited their facilities located at bus stations Mien Dong, Mien Tay, An Suong and Nga Tu Ga. At least 253 were recruited by local enterprises.

The programme also aims to help people from other provinces and cities find a job. They also give them information about accommodations.

About 300 companies, who employ a total of 20,000 people, have signed up with the job assistance programme. Most of the jobs are for manual labourers, with salaries of VND3.5-12 million ($167-$571).

Ha Long Bay sand mining boats seized

The Crime Prevention Department in the northern province of Quang Ninh have seized several boats involved in illegal sand mining in Ha Long Bay.

Provincial police said 12 ships had been docked for illegally exploiting sand in the bay from Hon Gai City.

The ships were caught using pumps to suck sand up from the ocean bed.

The captains and crew members of the vessels did not have any documents or licences for sand mining, police said.

Drivers and crew members told the police they had hired workers to exploit sand to sell to projects in the province.

Also on Tuesday, Ha Noi Police seized two boats involved in illegal sand mining in the Hong (Red) River.

To deal with illegal sand exploitation, the People’s Committee has instructed authorities in cities, districts and communes to strengthen inspections and punish violators accordingly.

Vietnam cities warm up for Earth Hour

Hanoi, Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City will launch various activities on March 22 as warm-ups for the annual environmental event Earth Hour, set to be organized on March 28 around the world.

Lights will be turned off for one hour in the capital city, starting at 8:30 p.m., news website VnExpress reported.

Many other activities will also be held in Hanoi, including the one in which about 1,000 people will ride bicycles around parks and other public places to pick up trash.

Meanwhile, some 1,000 people will play music at the same time to call on the public to save power in HCMC, according to the report.

The lights-off event will then be observed in other cities and provinces across the country on the main day, it said.

Vietnam first joined Earth Hour two years after it began in Sydney in 2007.

The initiative, which is aimed to raise public awareness about climate change, has so far engaged more than 162 countries and territories.

Seven prosecuted for eavesdropping mobile phone subscribers

The Hanoi People’s Procuracy has issued an indictment to prosecute the ex-director of a technology company and six former staff members for spying on 14,140 mobile phone subscribers, using their Ptracker app, Vietnamese media said.

According to the indictment, Nguyen Viet Hung, 41, hailing from Hanoi, ex-director of Viet Hong Technology Co. Ltd.; Le Thanh Lam, 33, former head of the firm’s Technical Department; and five ex-employees were charged with “illegally uploading information onto or using information on computer networks, telecommunications networks and Internet,” pursuant to Article 226 of the Penal Code.

In 2013, Hung hired Lam for a month salary of VND20 million (US$931) to create the Ptracker app to sell to the company’s clients, who could use the software to track other people’s Android phones, read their SMS messages and contact books, record their phone calls, and even turn on features like cameras, 3G or GPRS connections on the target devices.

But the customers who bought the software did not know that all of the data they covertly monitored from the handsets had been transferred to the server computer of Viet Hong at the disposal of the company’s employees.

Lam completed the software with the aid of two of the five said employees. The three others were in charge of setting up a website to introduce and advertise the app, creating video clips to provide directions for its use, receiving and replying to queries from clients, and making deals and payment with them.

Customers who bought the Ptracker app had to pay a premium to be granted an account to access the stolen data on Viet Hong’s server.

The Ptracker app was installed on the mobile phones of 14,140 subscribers and the firm raked in nearly VND1 billion (US$46,550) from selling the software.

The Hanoi prosecutor office has transferred the case to the local court for trial.

Vietnamese tourist killed in road accident in Cambodia

One Vietnamese tourist died and over 14 others were injured when the bus carrying them turned over after colliding with a truck in Cambodia’s Kratié Province on March 19, a police officer has confirmed.

At 9:30 am that day, a bus carrying 26 Vietnamese people was traveling in Kratié’s Snoul District when it crashed into a trailer truck going in the opposite direction, Lieutenant Colonel Lam Van Long, a traffic police officer from the southern Vietnamese province of Binh Phuoc said on March 19.

The accident happened when the bus was 7km from the Hoa Lu border gate on the Vietnam-Cambodia border.

The 26 people included two main drivers, a sub-driver, a driver’s assistant, an interpreter, and 21 passengers, who are employees of a farm owned by Loc Ninh Rubber One-Member Co. Ltd. in Binh Phuoc, Long said.

The collision killed the assistant to the driver of the bus on the spot while wounding more than 14 others.

Of the injured victims, four were in critical condition and taken to Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City for treatment, while the others were rushed to two hospitals in Binh Phuoc.

The group was on its way to tour Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, first operated by Ho Chi Minh City-based Thanh Thanh Travel Company, which later sold the operation of the tour to Asian Rong KS, a Cambodian tourist company.

Education fair fetes City’s achievements

HCM City’s achievements in education in the last 40 years are being showcased at an exhibition that opened yesterday at the city’s Independence Palace.

The three-day HCM City Education Development fair, besides looking back at accomplishments, also showcases the methods used by the city Department of Education and Training for comprehensive education reform.

It will feature workshops on innovative methods of teaching English and computers, advanced education in the digital age, and career counselling models to improve human resources.

There will also be entertainment programmes and a robotics contest for primary and secondary students.

Textbook publishers, schools, universities, and colleges have set up booths.

The event is organised by the Department of Education and Training.


Đăng ký: VietNam News