Kidnapped infant returned to mother


A newborn baby boy kidnapped from General Hospital in District 7 in HCM City four days ago was safely returned to his mother yesterday.

Police arrested District 7 resident Le Thi Bich Tram, 25, for the kidnapping.

Preliminary investigations show that she kidnapped the baby as she could not have one herself. The baby was taken away last Wednesday, a day after it was delivered, when the mother had gone to the toilet.

The hospital said that the mother and baby were in good health. Investigation into the case is ongoing.

Smuggled wood seized at Noi Bai Airport

Police at the Noi Bai International Airport yesterday seized more than 1.5 tonnes of wood that was being illegally transported from HCM City to Ha Noi.

The goods were transported in two trucks belong to Noi Bai Transport Co Ltd. However, the company employee, Nguyen Xuan Hoan, in charge of managing the goods, could not show any document to verify the origin of the wood.

Cold snap kills cattle in Lai Chau

About 480 head of cattle, including buffaloes, cows, horses and goats, have died since mid-December last year because of the severe cold spell that hit northern Lai Chau Province.

According to the provincial Agriculture Department, over 300 cattle died in the two border districts of Sin Ho and Phong Tho alone.

Local authorities have advised farmers to build strong shelters for the animals and store enough feed.

Health Ministry launches action plan against avian flu

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued an action plan to guard against a strain of avian flu virus H7N9 which is spreading across neighbouring China.

This was announced at a meeting of the National Steering Committee for Bird Flu Prevention and Control in Hanoi on January 13.

Accordingly, relevant agencies have been asked to work hand in hand in diagnosing, treating and preventing the deadly virus, while strictly monitoring the epidemic in both poultry and humans.

MoH has also established a network to receive, treat and isolate people suspected of having the virus aiming to control the dangerous and emerging infectious disease in central hospitals.

Quarantine units in border areas have been urged to strictly monitor people traveling from epidemic-hit regions while using remote body temperature measuring machines to detect patients.

Director of the MoH Preventive Medicine Department Tran Dac Phu predicted there is a high risk of the H7N9 virus entering Vietnam, since the epidemic is developing in a complex fashion, not only on the Chinese mainland but also in Hong Kong and Taiwan.

The cold weather in winter and the increasing number of tourists and traders crossing the border during the Lunar New Year holidays make it easier for the flu to spread farther, Phu added.

By January 13, as many as 168 cases of H7N9 flu have been recorded worldwide, with 164 cases in China, including 51 deaths.

The epidemic is likely to spread throughout China’s southern provinces bordering Vietnam. 

HCM City helps poor people enjoy Tet

Ho Chi Minh City plans to spend US$4.23 million helping 13,000 local poor households have a joyful Lunar New Year (Tet) festival, which is the country’s biggest holiday.

The city will also support businesses that are unable to take care of their employees during the Tet holiday by providing US$23.5 in cash per worker, according to Vice Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee Hua Ngoc Thuan.

Binh Chanh district plans to present 36,431 gifts worth over US$1 million to social welfare beneficiaries, said district Party Committee Secretary Le Van Hoa at a working session with a delegation led by municipal Party Committee Secretary Le Thanh Hai on January 13.

Home to 4,239 poor and near-poor households, Nha Be district will work to donate an additional US$23.5 for each family, said Tran Tan Quyet, a local official.

A nationwide campaign is being launched by the Vietnam Red Cross (VRC) to deliver 1 million gifts to disadvantaged families on the occasion of the upcoming Tet holiday.

The VRC Central Committee has just approved a US$228,500 aid package for its chapters in 37 cities and provinces across the country to purchase Tet gifts or the poor and victims of Agent Orange/dioxin.

Phu Quoc linked to power grid

Phu Quoc Island has been connected with the national power grid after an undersea cable linked it with Ha Tien town on last Saturday.

According to the Southern Power Company under Electricity of Viet Nam(EVN SPC), the 55.8-km cable cost around VND2.34 trillion (nearly US$110 million) and took around three months to be installed.

Italy's Prysmian Powerlink SRL designed, supplied, and installed it under an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract.

EVN SPC, which also executed several other packages for the project, said it would reduce the electricity produced by diesel generators on Phu Quoc Island.

Domestic users and tourism businesses on Phu Quoc have for long been facing power shortages.

In areas supplied by the Kien Giang Electricity Co, households pay VND5,060 for a kWh of power while businesses pay VND7,992.

On the mainland it costs around VND1,509.

According to Le Minh Hoang, director of the Kien Giang Province Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, poor infrastructure, especially the power shortage, has been one of the major hurdles to development on Phu Quoc.

Investors in a number of tourism projects that stalled because the island's development was tardy have resumed work after hearing about the linkage with the national grid.

Legal proceedings against drug traffickers in Hanoi

Police in Hanoi’s Hoan Kiem district said they started legal proceedings against three defendants involved in trafficking 19 cakes of heroin (equivalent to around 6.2kg) and 431 tablets of meth.

The arrested are Lo Nguyet San, a dangerous and wanted man from 65 Tay Son, Hoang Van Thu ward, Lang Son province; Nguyen Nhu Quyet from Tho Xuong district, Bac Giang province; and Nguyen Duc Dat from Ve An ward in Bac Ninh City.

They were detained on December 17, 2013, in Xuan Mai town, Hanoi’s outskirt district of Chuong My.

They confessed that they were trying to transport the drugs (bought in the northern province of Son La) from Hanoi to Lang Son and then on to China to sell.

VN to host regional neuroradiology summit

Viet Nam will host for the first time a congress of the Asian Australian Federation of Interventional and Therapeutic Neuroradiology from March 25 to 28 in central Da Nang City.

Around 300 Vietnamese delegates and 200 from other countries and territories in Asia and Australia, the US, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland will compare notes on difficult interventional neuroradiology cases at the biennial event.

Acute ischemic stroke, venous thrombosis stroke, endovascular treatment aneurysms, intracranial stenosis, flow diverter, carotid artery stenting, traumatic vascular diseases, spine and spinal vascular intervention, brain arteriovenous malformations, and multimodality treatment will be some of the topics discussed.

The Vietnam Society of Interventional Radiology is a young organisation, established only in 2010, Prof Pham Minh Thong, president of the Viet Nam Society of Radiology and Nuclear Medicine, said.

"In a short period, the society has achieved strong development with success in many fields, particularly therapeutic neurointervention," he said.

There are more than 1,500 cases of interventional neurora-diology in the country every year, including 500 cases of intracranial aneurysms, 500-600 cases of carotid cavernous fistula, and 350-400 cases of arteriovenous malformations, he said.

The scientific congress is a good opportunity for doctors in various fields to share experiences and best practices with their international peers, he added.

The conference will be organised by the society in coordination with the HCM City University of Medicine and Pharmacy.

Ha Noi monitors real estate projects

Ha Noi will re-examine and inspect real estate projects in the city until the end of May under a recent decision by the municipal People's Committee.

The inspectors will supervise more than 720 real estate projects with a total land area of more than 21, 940 hectares, focusing on organisations and enterprises who were allocated or leasing land in the city between January 1, 2009 and December 31, 2013.

Inspectors will also examine projects delayed by compensation disputes or land abandoned within 12 months of investors receiving the land. Projects lagging more than two years behind schedule and/or illegally transferred will also face greater scrutiny.

An inter-disciplinary inspection team has been established to clarify the obligations of investors and others involved in delayed projects.

According to the committee, the 720 real estate projects also include State-invested buildings including offices, hotels and cultural and social infrastructure.

Currently, there are 85 delayed projects in Tu Liem Disitrict, 56 in Long Bien and Cau Giay districts and about 60 in Hai Ba Trung and Hoang Mai districts. There are also around 40 postponed projects in Dong Da District, 30 in Ba Dinh District and 20 in Hoan Kiem and Tay Ho.

The move follows 925 inspections performed by the city between 200 and 2013, where more than 590 projects were found in violation of the Land Law and more than 290 projects lagged behind schedule. Around 100 projects were facing delays relating to financial obligations while the remaining delays were unexplained.

Investors for around 270 projects had put the land into use after receiving official warnings. Nearly 50 projects with a land mass of 1.795 hectares had their land use certificates revoked, while the rest are under investigation.

Former Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Dang Hung Vo said many enterprises failed to carry out their projects but ignored to return the allocated land. This was due to lax management by local authorities and weak regulations.

Vo said the State needed to impose higher taxes on delayed projects rather than issue warnings and wait for enterprises to return land.

Vietnamese workers in Malaysia welcome Tet

Over 350 Vietnamese employees working for the electrical component manufacturer, V.S. Electronics Sdn. Bhd of the V.S. Group in Malaysia, attended a New Year gala last week.

The event organised by V.S. Group was attended by Vietnamese Embassy officials in Malaysia and the group’s executives.

Speaking at the event, V.S. Group’s CEO En. YK Ng. said the event aimed to promote exchanges between the company’s managers and workers and the Embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia , as well as ensuring and protecting the workers’ welfare and rights.

Director of V.S. Electronics Sdn. Bhd Gary Lim said he is pleased with the Vietnamese guest workers, saying that they are hardworking, quick in acquiring knowledge and can operate machinery precisely.

Compared to guest workers from other countries, Vietnamese labourers perform their jobs better and they understand their roles as they can speak foreign languages, he said, adding that some can speak Malay, English and Chinese and this would be very convenient for work.

The group and its subsidiaries have planned to continuously hire more Vietnamese employees.-

Bac Ninh wants to establish chain of urban areas

Secretary of the Bac Ninh provincial Party Committee Tran Van Tuy has asked for permission to establish a chain of urban areas in the locality in an attempt to ramp up its rural infrastructure.

At a working session with the Party Central Committee’s Economic Commission - a think tank in socio-economic affairs - in the northern locality on January 13, Tuy said Bac Ninh is luring investment in electronics and high technology.

As part of the province’s economic restructuring, the electronic industry and precise engineering will come to the fore, he said in response to queries about its development orientations, restructuring of State-owned enterprises, development of support industry, and regional structure in the national economic development agenda.

Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Nguyen Nhan Chien, who was also present at the working session, reported that Bac Ninh posts an average annual economic growth of 15.2 percent with a gradual shift to industrialisation and modernisation.

Last year, the rate of industry and services hit 94 percent while that of agriculture stood at a mere six percent. The gross domestic product per capita reached over 3,200 USD, 16.6 times from that in 1997.

Since 2009, Bac Ninh has been named among the top ten industrialised localities with the presence of multinational powerhouses like Samsung, Canon, Nokia, Pepsico and ABB. It is the first province in the country to carry out a support industry zone project.

The province contributed 17 percent to the nation’s total exports last year. It is looking to become an electronic and telecom hub in the country and Southeast Asia.

In the coming time, Bac Ninh will further reform its growth model and step up economic restructuring in line with the Resolution set at the third conference of the Party Central Committee (11th tenure).

In its socio-economic development master plan until 2020, with a vision to 2030, Bac Ninh set the goal of becoming a modern-orientated industrialised province by 2015 and a centrally-run city in the 2020s.

At the event, its top officials proposed eight groups of issues for economic development.

Leading the delegation, deputy head of the Economic Commission Pham Xuan Duong hailed the province’s course of progression. He suggested Bac Ninh share its experience so that the commission can devise national development guidelines.

Earlier, the delegation visited Samsung Electronics Vietnam, Dabaco Vietnam, Hanaka group and Doc Sat industrial park in the locality.

Village-based midwives help improve ethnic women’s health

Village-based midwives have proven efficient in protecting and improving the health of ethnic women living in mountainous, hard-to-reach and border areas.

“These midwives who offer near-immediate health services in remote areas have helped thousands of women to give birth safely, saving the lives of mothers and infants,” said Nguyen Thi Lan, Director of the Reproductive Health Centre of Central Highlands Dak Nong province.

Thanks to support from the Mother and Infant Mortality Reduction Programme, the Ho Chi Minh City-based Tu Du hospital and the Dak Nong Reproductive Health Centre organised training courses for midwives. The province, which is home to numerous ethnic groups, now has 125 trained midwives who understand the language, culture and belief system of local residents. They are encouraging women from ethnic groups to get antenatal check-ups while providing them with knowledge on maternal and newborn health.

They also act as medical staff at communal infirmities which provide check-ups for mothers and infants at home, and participate in immunisation and malnutrition programmes, thus raising the number of local people to access primary health care services.

As a result, the ratio of ethnic pregnant women who register for maternal check-ups in communes rise significantly every year, leading to the increasing number of those women’s deliveries with assistance from midwives. The old maternal tradition of ethnic groups such as delivering in forests far away from health facilities and without skilled attendants has been eliminated, contributing to reducing maternal and child mortality among ethnic people.

In 2014, the Dak Nong centre plans to train an additional 20 village-based midwives and provide refresher training for 99 others while calling for more assistance from programmes and organisations for sustainable operation.

The centre also revises intensives for those midwives, keeping their mind on their work.

According to the Health Ministry’s statistics, the mother mortality rate has reduced significantly in Vietnam with the maternal mortality ratio at 233 deaths per 100,000 live births a decade ago compared to 69 per 100,000 in 2010. The country targets reducing the mortality rate to 59 per 100,000 by 2015.-

Project helps Tra Vinh farmers adapt to climate change

The Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh on January 13 launched a project worth 518 billion VND (24.7 million USD) to improve locals’ resilience to climate change.

The project has been given 231 billion VND (11 million USD) in low-interest loans and 126 billion VND (6 million USD) in non-refundable aid by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).

From 2014 to 2020, it will be implemented in 30 communes of seven districts of Tra Vinh to build climate change adaptation facilities, 16 automatic salinity monitoring stations, agricultural and aquatic production models with high economic viability, and small-scale financial organisations to provide capital for the poor.

The project is expected to benefit 62,500 low-income people.

Tra Vinh is among the localities most vulnerable to rising sea levels and salt intrusion in Vietnam. If the sea level rises by one metre, about 45.7 percent of Tra Vinh’s land area will be flooded.

In the last five years, seawater has surged 500 – 800 metres inland and eroded more than 120 hectares of land in Hiep Thanh commune, Duyen Hai district.

The United Nations’ IFAD has financed Vietnam since 1991 with low-interest 40-50 year loans that have been channelled to farmers, fishermen, disadvantaged women and ethnic communities.-

National Strategy on Pharmacy ratified

 The PM has approved the Viet Nam National Strategy on Pharmacy till 2020, with a vision to 2030.

Accordingly, by 2020, domestically produced medicines will account for 80% of the total medicines consumed in the country.

The national strategy sets the goal to provide enough high-quality medicines with reasonable price and supply medicine for social policy beneficiaries, ethnic minorities, and poor people at remote and advantaged areas.

Vaccine production meets expanded vaccination needs

By 2020, the strategy aims to provide 100% of medicines for treatment and meet 20% of material demands of national medicine production. Domestically produced vaccines will be sufficient for expanded vaccination program and meet 30% of the needs of paid vaccination.

Pharmaceutical import limited

The pharmacy industry will be orientated to developing the production of pharmaceutical chemistry and vaccines, and looking to merge, acquisition and scale extension as ways to increase its competitiveness.

The medicine distribution system will be formed modernly, professionally and effectively, in the mountainous areas in the North, Central North, Central South-Central Highlands, South East and South West regions.

Quality guaranteed

From now to 2020, with a vision to 2030, the industry will strengthen the management over the medicine quality and deal with behaviors of producing, importing, circulating, distributing and providing fake and low-quality medicines.

In the future, the State will invest in projects to establish national biology and biosimilar research centers.