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Annual KOVA Prize honours outstanding researchers, students

Update: January, 11/2016 - 11:00
The 85-year-old farmer with a fourth-grade educationon, Dinh Cong Vien, (first left) of Ha Nam Province on Saturday was awarded a prize for his post-harvesting machine that removes kernels from corn and shells from soybeans. — Photo Courtesy of KOVA Prize Committee

HCM CITY (VNS) — An 85-year-old farmer with a fourth-grade education, as well as 25 individuals and three teams, including doctors at HCM City's Cho Ray Hospital, were honoured at the 13th annual KOVA Prize ceremony for their outstanding contributions to research and social welfare.

Farmer Dinh Cong Vien of the Red River Delta province of Ha Nam on Saturday was awarded the KOVA prize for his post-harvesting machine that removes kernels from corn and shells from soybeans.

Wanting to reduce the hard labour of his fellow farmers, Vien experimented making a machine several times, but failed many times.

After his final and successful attempt, Vien said that many farmers ordered the machine to save working time in their fields.

Vien began to farm his fields in 1985 after retiring as a commune-level official in Kim Bang District's Khuyen Cong Village.

He has now made nearly 300 post-harvesting machines to sell to farmers in the northern provinces and HCM City's Go Vap District.

"My machines can also be used as a thresher for peanuts and paddy," he said. "It sells for VND4 million, and can process four to five tonnes per hour."

Vien is now conducting research on other mini-machines that would transplant rice seedlings and harvest rice.

The KOVA Prize also honoured 25 other individuals and three groups for their outstanding contributions to scientific research and social welfare.

One hundred scholarships were presented to public university students who have financial difficulties and excellent marks.

Dr Pham Van Phuc, deputy head of Lab of Stem Cell Research and Application under the HCM City University of Science, received an award for an adipose-derived stem cells (ADSCs) extraction kit and a new platelet rich plasma (PRP) pro kit for treatment of 50 diseases.

The Ministry of Health allows the use of the kits in treating injured cartilage and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

A group of doctors at Cho Ray Hospital in HCM City was also awarded this honourable prize for their programme on effective management of antibiotic use at the hospital.

Antibiotic use has been reduced by 57.8 per cent compared to the past at the hospital, and the number of days and costs for treatment has fallen, according to the hospital.

The programme will be used by another 60 hospitals in 20 provinces and cities.

At the ceremony, Vice President Nguyen Thi Doan, who is chairwoman of the KOVA Prize Committee, praised the contributions of the groups and individuals.

She said the prize, established by the KOVA Paint Group in 2002, should be expanded to cover all the country's rural areas. Only some rural areas are now included. — VNS

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