Child AO victims need more care: workshop
Hanoi, September 29 (VNA) – Participants at a workshop in Hanoi on September 28 proposed solutions to take better care of the children who are Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims. Relevant policies on the group and support to them in localities were also tabled for discussion at the event, jointly held by the Vietnam Association for Protection of Child Rights (VACR) and NSG Social Company Limited. Vietnam counts more than 150,000 second-generation AO victims, 35,000 of the third generation and 6,000 others of the fourth. Over 10 trillion VND (420.6 million USD) has been earmarked annually to support the victims as well as the areas severely affected by the toxic chemical. Many participants stressed the need to set criteria for the classification of AO victims and build funds for the research work, saying the child victims should receive more care. Others proposed increasing allowances for the group, establishing special centres for them and devising exclusive policies. According to the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/dioxin (VAVA), the US army sprayed 80 million litres of toxic chemicals on the south of Vietnam between 1961 and 1971, with 61% being AO containing 366kg of dioxin, on over nearly 3.06 million hectares (equivalent to nearly one quarter of the south’s total area). Preliminary statistics showed that 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to AO/dioxin, and about 3 million people became victims. Tens of thousands of people have died and millions of others suffered from cancer and other incurable diseases as a result. Many of their offsprings also suffer from birth deformities./.