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US foundation to provide surgery for the disabled in central province

Update: June, 25/2007 - 00:00

US foundation to provide surgery for the disabled in central province

(25-06-2007)

About 500 people with disabilities in the central province of Quang Ngai are set to get free surgeries in the next five years. — VNA/VNS Photo Duong Ngoc

DA NANG — The American NGO East Meets West Foundation has agreed to provide corrective surgeries for poor people with disabilities in Quang Ngai Province.

For the purpose, it signed an agreement last Friday with the province’s Committee for Population, Family, and Children, and the Da Nang Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation Centre.

The project is part of EMW’s Support Network for People with Disabilities (SN-PWD) programme, an initiative to help create channels of medical and educational services for people with disabilities (PWDs) in Quang Ngai.

It aims to provide 500 PWDs free corrective surgeries in the next five years at a cost of US$187,500.

EMW established the programme last year with a grant from the Ford Foundation to improve the quality of life for PWDs through the creation of long-term, sustainable channels by which they can access health care and other services.

Many people in the central region have suffered, and continue to suffer, from serious health problems related to exposure to dioxin, a powerful mutagen found in defoliants sprayed by the US military during the American War.

There are an estimated 47,000 PWDs living in Quang Ngai, and over half live at or below the poverty line.

EMW will assist PWDs by also providing vocational training, building capacity, refurbishing medical facilities, rehabilitation and physical therapy.

"With direct, effective support, thousands of people with disabilities in Quang Ngai Province can have improved lives that are healthier, longer, more prosperous, and enriched by greater options," said Dr. Charles Bailey, representative for the Ford Foundation in Viet Nam.

"We are happy to support EMW in its mission to build sustainable communities in Viet Nam, particularly in the areas that have suffered the most."

An independent, non-profit organisation, the New York-based Ford Foundation has provided grants for innovative people and institutions worldwide to reduce poverty and promote international co-operation, among others. — VNS

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