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Autism growing in Vietnam

Autism growing in Vietnam; France to sponsor tertiary education festival; Taxi app in breach of local regulations; Russian Duma Chairman meets Hanoi students; Denmark assists Vietnam in energy saving

Autism growing in Vietnam


Volunteers and caregivers feed children at the Ha Noi Relief Association for Handicapped.


There are about 200,000 documented cases of children with autism in Viet Nam and the number is growing, according to the Asia-Pacific Development Centre on Disability (APCD).

The news was voiced with concern at a workshop co-organised by the APCD and the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA).

Autism is a neuro-developmental disorder characterised by impaired social interaction and communication, said Dr. Vu Song Ha, vice director of the Centre for Creative Initiatives in Health and Development.

At the workshop, researchers said the number of school children with autism was significantly higher than children with other disabilities.

Autism is a widely recognised disability and is listed in many countries' disability laws. Viet Nam, however, has not yet established a legal framework to provide diagnosed children with medical insurance or treatment, said Ha.

Early diagnosis and treatments have proven effective in helping children become active members in society.

Sharing his expertise in developing policies to support children with autism, Masafumi Hizume, an expert from Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, said that Japan recognised autism as a disability and had established policies to support children into adulthood.

He said companies that hired workers with autism were given bonuses as an incentive and goods produced by the companies were also given purchase-priority by government procurement offices as a way to help people with autism.

Dr. Nguyen Ngoc Toan, vice director of the Bureau of Social Sponsoring with MOLISA, said that the ministry instructed its officials to guide local agencies how to identify children with autism and providing them with government support.

Electric-bike riders get free helmets

More than 200 helmets were handed out at Thang Long Secondary School in Ha Noi on Monday to start a competition to encourage safer driving practices.

The competition aims to raise awareness of traffic safety among electric bike and motor bike drivers, particularly students, in a bid to reduce traffic violations and accidents.

The event, jointly organised by the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) and Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), offers prizes worth VND100 million (US$4,700) to its winners.

This year's competition runs in three sessions: a multiple choice quiz, an essay and a group test. The essay and quiz can be taken at and submission deadline is February 1.

Last year, the competition drew participation of 40,000 contestants from 62 cities and provinces.

President lauds dedicated teachers

President Truong Tan Sang has sent a letter of congratulation to praise devoted teachers on occasion of Teacher’s Day ( on November 20)

Through being informed the news of the special for teacher, President Sang was moved at the good examples of teachers, he sent a letter of congratulation on good teachers including teacher Nguyen Tra in Hanoi; teacher Nguyen Thi Thong in the northern province of Thanh Hoa and teacher Le Trung Sung in Can Tho City in the delta who have been dedicated to teaching profession.

The Presidential Office November 30 and the People’s Committee in Hanoi, Can Tho City and Thanh Hoa Province organized ceremonies to give the letters of congratulation to teachers.

Medical workers asked to focus on treating snakebite victims

Because the news of deaths and hospitalized cases due to bites of venomous snake in the central Vietnam caused worries among residents, the Health Ministry’s Medical Examination and Treatment Department yesterday ordered all medical clinics in the country focused on treating people who were bitten by the green pit viper, a species of venomous snake.

When medical workers in district clinics who needs consultation on treatment of snakebite victims, they can call the hot line of Bach Mai Hospital in Hanoi. Hospitals should provide training on first aid and intensive care to residents who can themselves treat or people around when being bitten.

The Department also asked doctors of Bach Mai Hospital to give training on treating snakebite victims to their counterparts in districts as well as continue updating information of diagnosis and advanced treatment in the world.

Dr. Luong Ngoc Khue, head of the Medical Examination and Treatment Department, said that Vietnam is one of countries which have the venomous snakes to cause deaths if snakebite victims do not receive timely treatment. Accordingly the contents of snakebite methodologies are included the curriculum for post graduates in medicine schools

Doctors of big hospitals such as Bach Mai in Hanoi, the central Hue Hospital in Thua Thien-Hue Province in Central Vietnam and Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City are good at treating snakebite victims.

Every year, they have saved the lives of tens of  victims in serious condition after being bitten by venomous snakes. For treatment of snakebite victims, serum plays an important role; currently, the Institute of Vaccine and Medical Biologicals No. 9 in Nha Trang Town in Central Vietnam has produced serum against venomous snakes including the green pit viper.

In three recent months, the green pit viper has appeared in many central provinces namely Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Phu Yen, Da Nang and Nghe An. Hundreds of people were bitten and some of them were dead due to snakebites.

UK shares nuclear development expertise with Vietnam

The UK Embassy and Vietnam’s General Department of Energy jointly held a workshop on December 2, aimed at sharing the UK’s expertise in nuclear power development with Vietnam.

The British Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Douglas Barnes, said Vietnam and the world are facing new challenges as energy sources are being depleted, and nuclear power is an increasingly appropriate approach to the situation.

However, nuclear power plants require a legal framework and qualified staff to be operated safely and efficiently, said Barnes.

According to a report by the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam relies mainly on hydroelectricity and thermal power to meet energy demand but water resources are being exhausted, strongly affecting the operation of hydropower plants.

Renewable resources are currently impractical due to high costs and unstable output.

Nuclear power is considered a feasible choice to address Vietnam’s energy shortage in the future, said Le Khac Tho, Deputy Head of the General Department of Energy.

He added that Vietnam is refining its legal framework and training human resources to prepare for the construction of two nuclear power plants in central Ninh Thuan province.

Vietnam expects to learn from the UK’s experience in the field so that it can work out appropriate measures to ensure the safety and efficiency of its peaceful nuclear energy programme, said Tho.

Taxi app in breach of local regulations

Uber, a ride-sharing taxi service new to HCM City and Ha Noi, has attracted a growing number of passengers, but officials have said the business is unsafe and difficult to manage.

Uber, an American taxi "app" service, offers low-cost taxi rides in expensive cars without any signage. Customers use the "app" to register the route they want to take, and the system connects them to available drivers.

The app tells customers how much the ride will cost, and gives them information about the car picking them up. It charges the customer's Visa or Mastercard for the service.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Tran Bao Ngoc, head of the Ministry of Transport's transport department, said the service failed to meet certain regulations.

Uber had not registered in Viet Nam to provide taxi services or to pay taxes, Ngoc said. It also posed risks to passengers, because it didn't follow safety standards, such as recruiting qualified drivers and buying insurance, he said.

Tran Minh Huyen, who has used the new service in Ha Noi, said she was happy with it.

"I will definitely continue using it if it continues to offer good service and low costs," she said.

However, HCM City's Taxi Association has protested the service's existence in Viet Nam, and asked the Government to address safety concerns surrounding it.

In reply to the association, the transport ministry has asked the Ministry of Public Security to work on the problem and penalise cars that provide taxi services without visible logos or required safety precautions.

Rural youth gain job hunting insights

About 16,000 rural young women and men in Phu Tho, Thua Thien-Hue and Quang Nam provinces benefited from the employability component in the Rural Youth Employment Programme between 2012 and 2014.

Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Viet Nam, Gyorgy Sziraczki, said this at the final evaluation and dissemination workshop of the programme yesterday.

He said that the programme, run in collaboration with the General Department of Vocational Training, aimed to provide career and vocational guidance to young people and facilitate employment counselling at vocational training centres.

"Viet Nam's unemployment among young women and men is three times higher than the overall rate. Half of unemployed people are young people between the ages of 15 and 24. Unemployment and underemployment rate is particularly high among college or university graduates," Gyorgy said.

"We have also helped vocational training schools present themselves better as well-connected, well-performing training providers attractive to both students and parents," he said.

"These schools can help young people to find productive employment opportunities in their homeland rather than moving away to urban areas and industrial centres."

Duong Duc Lan, Director-General of the General Directorate of Vocational Training, said the programme was the base for a marketable curriculum for vocational training centres.

"It helps connect businesses and labour training centres in educating a skilled labour force. Final-year students at junior and high-schools need basic skills and knowledge on labour before selecting a suitable vocational training programme," Lan said.

He suggested that the ILO and other sponsors develop the programme in other provinces.

The programme has received US$300,000 backing from the Government of Luxembourg.

Nguyen Huong Tra, ILO's National Programme Coordinator, said the programme had provided information on soft skills, including entrepreneurship development tools, the law on labour and job availability for teenagers.

"Students will be able to get advice on job-training choices that meet their abilities. They should also be able to start their own businesses after career-training courses at local centres," Tra said.

She said 80 per cent of high-school student in rural areas of three provinces had received job consultancy before graduation.

Nguyen Tran Huu Nghia, from Quang Nam province, said he decided to join the provincial Culture, Arts and Tourism College after a vocational pre-graduation consultancy from the programme.

"It was the right choice. I recognised that I could not enter university, but I was able to pass the exams for the college's faculty of Music Teacher Training," he said.

Ngo Thanh Tai, manager of a garment company in Quang Nam Province, complained that vocational training centres were not able to meet his demand of skilled workers.

"We wasted time providing skills training for labourers at centres, but their training programmes were inadequate," Tai said.

"There needs to be a connection between businesses and centres to create a smooth outcome for vocational training," he said.

Russian Duma Chairman meets Hanoi students

Visiting Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of Russia Sergey Evgenievich Naryshkin had an exchange with students of the Hanoi National University on December 2.

At the event, Naryshkin introduced his country’s foreign policy affirming that Russia always considers Vietnam its leading partner.

Noting with pleasure the fruitful bilateral relationship, he said that it will further develop in the future.

He also emphasised the need to increase collaboration and exchanges between the two peoples, especially young generations, in a bid to push the bilateral friendship forward.

The Duma Chairman confirmed that Russia will continue to create favourable conditions for Vietnamese to pursue their study in the country, adding his government will increase scholarship for Vietnam in the coming time.

Participating students questioned the Russian guest on the country, land and socio-economic development of Russia as well as the prospects for bilateral ties.

Nghe An brings to light many corruption cases

The authorities of central Nghe An province have uncovered a number of corruptive cases involving the misappropriation of more than 380 billion VND (17.5 million USD) and 70,700 sq.m. of land since the beginning of 2014.

Relevant agencies admitted that much remains to be done in the fight against corruption in Nghe An, as many measures utilised to tackle the issues proved to be of little effective. In addition, most corruption cases are discovered through inspections or public complaints and no unit was able to detect corruptive acts inside its organisation. Besides, it usually takes a long time for the investigation and trial of corruption cases.

In the coming time, with the aim of rooting out corruption, the province will continue to improve the transparency in the operation of State agencies and emphasise the accountability of heads of organisations and units as well as public servants. T he authorities will also enlist the help of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and other political and social organisations as well as media and the public in the fight against corruption.

Binh Dinh asks for government support to overcome storm aftermath

The central province of Binh Dinh appealed for financial support from the Government to promptly address the consequences of the tropical storm Sinlaku.

According to the local Storm and Flood Prevention and Control Committee, a total of 124 houses collapsed and 251 others were damaged or had their roofs blown off.

Strong wind and rain also submerged over 2,130 ha of rice and broke 500m of sea dykes. The total economic loss was estimated at over 80 billion VND.

Local authorities, departments, and residents are working hard to clean up and repair damaged houses, schools, roads, and sea dykes, and restore electricity supply, said Director of the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Phan Trong Ho.

The province asked the government to provide 45 billion VND (2.14 million USD) to rebuild sea dykes and roads, and around 12 billion VND (570,000 USD) to buy rice seeds and help locals rebuild houses.

Storm Sinlaku swept through Binh Dinh and Phu Yen provinces late November 29, bringing torrential rains to provinces from Da Nang City to Phu Yen and the northern region of the Central Highlands.

BIDV presents 170 computer sets to Lao agencies

The Bank of Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) on December 2 presented 30 computer sets to the Lao Front for National Construction (LFNC) on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the country’s National Day.

They were part of 170 computer sets and four printers that BIDV provided for Lao agencies and organisations this time, including the Lao News Agency (KPL), the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Information, and the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Central Committee’s Commissions for Organisation and Popularisation and Training.

Addressing the event, President of the LFNC Central Committee Phanduongchit Vongsa spoke highly of BIDV’s contributions to social welfare in Laos , especially in education and health.

He said he hopes that the bank will implement more activities to help Laos reduce poverty and improve locals’ living standards, thus fostering the special relationship between the two countries.

Lao, Cambodian veterans welcomed in Hanoi

Vice President of the Vietnam Fatherland Front Central Committee Le Ba Trinh hosted a reception in Hanoi on December 2 for delegations of Lao and Cambodian war veterans.

The delegations are in Vietnam to attend the fifth patriotic emulation congress of the Veterans’ Association of Vietnam (VAVN) and a ceremony marking the association’s 25th founding anniversary (December 6, 1989-2014).

At the event, Trinh voiced his wish for the incessant development of the friendship, solidarity and cooperation between Vietnam and Laos and Cambodia as well as between the VAVN and the Lao and Cambodian Veterans’ Associations.

He asked the Lao and Cambodian organisations to enhance cooperation and all-level delegation exchanges with the VAVN so as to strengthen their ties, thus effectively educating their members and the young generations on the traditional friendship between Vietnam and their two neighbours.

Chairman of the Lao association Somphon Keomisay said his country always appreciates Vietnam’s wholehearted assistance to its national liberation and construction, adding that participating in the VAVN’s congress is an opportunity for his association to exchange experience with the Vietnamese side, thus fostering Laos-Vietnam relations.

Meanwhile, Deputy General Secretary of the Cambodian association Yi Yuan thanked Vietnam for helping his country escape from the Khmer Rouge genocidal regime in the past as well as develop currently while expressing his hope for reinforced solidarity and affiliation among the three countries.

Joint efforts needed to provide jobs for the disabled

People with disabilities should be more active in searching for suitable jobs while enterprises need to improve their working conditions to make the most of the ability of disabled workers, according to social affairs officials in Ho Chi Minh City.

Tran Thi Doan from the HCM City Support Centre for Vocational Training and Job Placement for People with Disabilities said in 2014, local enterprises offered more than 3,000 job vacancies for disabled workers at her centre, but only 700 disabled people applied for jobs.

Le Chu Giang, Director of the social welfare section under the municipal Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, said besides support policies, disabled persons should equip themselves with necessary working and social skills in order to find and maintain a suitable job.

Pham Thi Thanh Thuy, an employee with mobility impairment at the Vietnam Institute of Computer, shared her own experience, saying that disabled people should prove their ability to employers, and all jobs demand diligence, constant learning and skills.

Director of the Vietnam Institute of Computer Nguyen Thanh Dai said among the company’s 25 employees, five are persons with disabilities. He added that all employees are treated equally based on the efficiency of their performance.

Tran Thi Doan from the HCM City Support Centre for Vocational Training and Job Placement for People with Disabilities proposed more investment in vocational training for the disabled, explaining that most employers reported they had to re-train newly recruited workers even though the workers have graduated training courses at vocational centres.

According to Le Chu Giang, the city has been implementing a project on providing assistance to local disabled people in the period from 2014-2020, which has set the target of giving vocational training and jobs to 5,000 people with disabilities by 2020.

The project is expected to raise public awareness of the importance of caring for the disabled, as well as to call for the social involvement in the field.

At present, there are some 6.7 million disabled people in Vietnam, 60 percent of who are of working age.

In 2013, about 80,000 disabled people gained vocational skills in jobs suitable for their health, such as spa services, animal husbandry, mushroom cultivation, carpentry, and making clothes and bamboo products.

According to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs’ General Department of Vocational Training, around 1.5 million people in Vietnam are taught with vocational skills every year.

Denmark assists Vietnam in energy saving

The Danish Embassy signed a framework agreement with the ANZ bank in Vietnam in Hanoi on December 2, giving the bank the management of the embassy’s fund for promoting energy saving in Vietnam.

The 6.5 million USD fund was set up to help small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in Vietnam improve energy use efficiency and adopt sustainable clean technologies.

The Danish Ambassador to Vietnam, John Nielsen said the fund is part of Denmark’s aid package of 11 million USD to projects in energy saving for Vietnamese SMEs operating in brick making, ceramic production and food processing.

The ambassador hoped that the support would help to enhance the SMEs’ awareness about energy saving and encourage them to realise new ideas and innovations.

Qualified projects proposed by SMEs will be able to borrow from commercial banks with half of the loans provided by the Danish Embassy’s fund.

The funding scheme will be valid from January 2015 to June 2017.

Mekong Delta hospital gets support in waste treatment

An advanced waste treatment system capable of treating 750 cubic meters of waste water per day operating since June 2014 has markedly raised sanitary standards for Long An province’s general hospital.

The system installed comes as part of a 22.5 billion VND project on hospital waste treatment funded by the World Bank and run by the Health Ministry that was carried out in the Mekong Delta province of Long An and several other localities.

The province’s 900-bed general hospital, which provides treatment for not only local people but also those coming from neighbouring areas, discharges 800kg of solid waste, over 8kg of hazardous waste, and 470 cubic of meters of waste water on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, its waste water treatment system using microbiological technology is able to treat 350 cubic of meters of waste water per day and fails to treat toxic chemicals released into the environment.

The new waste treatment system, apart from addressing overload suffered by the old system, saw treated waste water and solid waste meeting national technical and environmental regulations.

Director General of the Long An hospital Vo Cong Luan said investments in cutting-edge equipment, as well as in human resources, have reduced the risks of epidemic outbreak.

France to sponsor tertiary education festival

The French Embassy in coordination with Campus France will hold tertiary education festivals at the Pullman Saigon Centre in HCM City on December 6 and the Pullman Hotel in Hanoi on December 7.

This will be a good chance for Vietnamese students, pupils and their parents to experience the diversity and high quality of French universities, a representative of the French embassy said.

They will have the opportunity to directly meet and question representatives from 18 French universities and members of the Vietnamese Student Association in France (UAFV) in France as well as partake in activities organised by Campus France.

Students and pupils also will be provided with update information for their abroad study, including learning process, departments, visa, scholarships and English study curriculum.

In addition, the festivals will introduce French attractions such as cuisine, heritage and landscape, fashion and other innovations.

Vietnam, Hungary co-operate in water resource management

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has expressed his hope that Hungary will continue to strengthen co-operation with Vietnam, especially in regards to the sustainable development of water resources.

The Deputy PM made the remark at a seminar on water resource management in Hanoi on November 28, which was attended by Hungarian President Ader Janos.

President Ader Janos highly appreciated the prospect of the two countries co-operating together in fields such as wastewater treatment, clean water supply, flood prevention and control, anti-saltwater intrusion, climate change and the greenhouse effect.

He stressed that Hungary has much experience in water resource monitoring and protection, as well as in dyke building. Hungary is willing to share its knowledge and skills to cooperate with Vietnam in this field, especially now that climate change is creating huge economic and environmental loss to many countries throughout the world.

The Hungarian government is committed to supporting Vietnam in human resource training, technology transfer and institutional and financial measures related to the use and management of water resources.

For his part, Deputy PM Dam said that Vietnam has been implementing great efforts over the past few years in order to determine measures in response to climate change and to minimise its negative impacts. Many procedures and policies have been put in practice in order to serve the long-term climate change adaptation, he said.

At the seminar, the two leaders witnessed the signing of the Letter of Intent on presenting Asenic filters to Hai Duong province and the Letter of Intent on establishment of cooperative ties between Sing Phu Technology Development Company and S-Metalltech’98 Kit Company.

On the same day, Hungarian President Ader Janos attended a meeting with Vietnam-Hungary Friendship Association and presented a medal of Hungary to Nguyen Dang Vang, who is Chairman of the Vietnam-Hungary Friendship Association.



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