by Thu Anh
Seventh-grader wins top prize for healthcare software
Nguyen Le Gia Thinh, 13, spent six months creating his award-winning "Health for Everybody" software, illustrated with colourful and amusing images.
A student at Le Quy Don School in Vi Thanh City, Thinh won first prize at a hi-tech creativity contest for young people held recently in An Giang Province.
"I created the software to help my family, relatives and friends search for information about drugs and medical treatments," Thinh said.
Subjects include healthcare consulting, drug interactions, treatment plans, medical problems, and an ask-your-doctor section.
"I selected information from different sources at home and abroad. I also contacted doctors at hospitals," said Thinh, adding that his mother, who is a doctor, offered him support.
Le Thanh Tam, deputy director of An Giang Province's Information and Communication Department, was a member of the contest's jury.
"Many users, including doctors and patients, have been surprised at the young boy's talent," he said. "Doctors and nurses can search for information related to their fields in a very short time."
Doctors at the General Hospital of An Giang use the software.
Bach Thi Duy Lien, a teacher at Thinh's school, said: "My students really like the software because they can learn many things about medicine and health treatments."
Artisan preserves ethnic Pa Co music for younger generation
After 20 years of hard work, Ho Van Viet, a member of the Dakrong Music and Dance Troupe of Quang Tri Province, has reached the pinnacle of his career.
A traditional-music researcher and instrument maker, Viet collects, restores and performs traditional instruments of the Pa Co ethnic minority group.
He and his peers have travelled around the region performing for young people, who have developed a love for the music.
"We allow our audiences to play and touch the ancient musical instruments like the ta lu, a three-chord mandolin, and par ngoong, a horn," Viet said.
The 40-year-old musician owns dozens of traditional instruments, some of which are 100 years old or more.
"The instrument reveals a great deal about the Pa Co's culture, lifestyle and music," he said. "Not only can you see the beautiful instruments at performances, but you can also hear Pa Co music from different periods of their history."
Elderly villager Kray Suc of the Pa Co said that Viet and his troupe were planning to offer free training to children on playing the ta lu. He has shown local youth his love of traditional music." — VNS