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New holistic treatment may give relief to Agent Orange victims

Update: May, 30/2005 - 00:00

New holistic treatment may give relief to Agent Orange victims


HA NOI — Treatment that combines physiotherapy, physical exercise and vitamin and mineral supplements appears to offer hope for Vietnamese ravaged by toxic chemicals, including dioxin.

Recommended by the Association for Better Living and Education International of America, the new treatment could benefit an estimated four million Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange.

It was introduced to Viet Nam at a conference held by the Health Ministry in collaboration with the US organisation.

The treatment was developed in 1970s and begins with jogging followed by a steam bath to help ‘sweat out’ the toxins.

It is then supported with supplements of vitamins, minerals and polyunsaturated oils with patients asked to eat healthy food.

Victims exposed to radio-active substances following the Chemobyl explosion, US veterans of the first gulf war and fire fighters who dealt with the aftermath of September 11,2001 attack on the World Trade Centre, New York, have all used the treatment.

Health Ministry 10-80 Committee Director Tran Manh Hung said the treatment was used in many countries.

The 10-80 Committee was appointed to deal with the consequences of the heavy spraying of toxic chemicals by the US and its allies during the American War and Viet Nam should think about its use to help Agent Orange victims, he told the conference.

It could be considered a breakthrough in relieving the pain of Agent Orange victims.

Chemist Tran Xuan Thu said the treatment was easy and used less medicine than other treatments.

It worked successfully with toxic poisoning caused by heavy metals and radioactive substances.

Thu, who is deputy president and general secretary of the Viet Nam Association for Agent Orange-Dioxin Victims, said that each new sanatorium built for the victims would now include a detoxification room.

The American association had done the tests necessary to prove the method also worked with dioxin.

10-80 Committee President Tran Manh Hung said the American association would provide financial help for Viet Nam to build steam baths and buy the vitamins and minerals. — VNS

Surgeons create smiles

Experts from Ha Noi Medical College, in collaboration with colleages at Kon Tum General Hospital, conducted plastic surgery on 26 Agent Orange victims in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) province of Kon Tum.
All of the surgeries, carried out on May 27 and 28, were to repair facial deformities and reconstruct the craniums of victims.
The working tour of Ha Noi Medical College doctors will last till June 3 and is part of a project to provide reconstructive surgery and functional rehabiliation assistance in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) provinces and southwestern Tay Ninh Province.
Apart from giving a helping hand to AO victims, the tour is an opportunity for medical specialists to transfer know-how to their colleagues working in hospitals at the grassroots level, said Dr Tran Thiet Son, deputy director of the plastic surgery faculty at Ha Noi Medical College, who heads the volunteer group.
Once medical workers at the local level master advanced operating techniques, more victims will have their defomities corrected, said Kon Tum General Hospital deputy director Pham Ba Da. He went on to say that his poorly equipped hospital has a severe shortage of specialists, and, at present, surgeons of the hospital are only capable of conducting simple plastic surgery on patients with deformed hands.
A State-funded VND8 billion project has been ongoing since 2003 through the Fund for Protection of Vietnamese Agent Orange Victims and the Red Cross Society of Viet Nam bringing needed medical treatment to over 2,600 Agent Orange victims in 2003 and 2004. The majority of the beneficiaries were children and ethnic minorities. — VNS

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