Worry about relatives at home

Love in the case of swine flu. Photo: Telegraph

Love in the case of swine flu. Photo: Telegraph

When the widespread outbreak of the swine flue happens in some countries in the world, many people, especially international students at the Griffith’s Gold Coast Campus are worried out their relatives in their hometown.

First cases of the disease, which were revealed in Mexico, makes students from the American country concerned about that.

“I was so worried about my parents and my sister in my country when I read news on the disease,” said Elia Bazan, a Mexican student, studying master degree in Journalism and Mass Communication at the campus.

Her family are living in Mexico city, where a lot of local people have been effected by the flu. Many of them died.

Like Elia, Yuen, a Chinese student, also has been anxious about her relatives in her country. “I don not know much about the flu but I think that it is dangerous as SARS,” she said.

SARS or bird flu is one of the worst diseases happening in China in 2003. A case of swine flu was confirmed in Hong Kong in early this month.

At present, the swine flu has been prevented and controlled in these contries. Both Elia and Yuen called their families and feel secure about them.

By Minh Nguyen



Vietnam joins regional efforts to combat influenza A/H1N1

Vietnam will prevent A/H1N1 flu

Vietnam will prevent A/H1N1 flu

Vietnam is willing to work with other ASEAN countries by sharing information and contributing to stocks of medicines to prevent and if necessary combat a possible outbreak of A/H1N1 flu in the region, said a health official.


Director of the Health Ministry’s Preventive Medicine and Environment Department Dr. Nguyen Huy Nga stated this on the sidelines of an ASEAN health ministers meeting, with China , Japan and the Republic of Korea also taking part, which opened in Bangkok, Thailand, on May 7.

The country has also activated its warning system and stepped up the monitoring of travellers, particularly those at border gates, the official added.

Participants at the meeting will share their experience, access the effect the disease could have on the region, and look at more efficient ways of handling a potential widespread outbreak of the disease.

Senior officials and experts from the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their three partners at the talks also met with the representatives of a number of international organisations in Bangkok .

The latest statistics show that more than 1,900 cases of influenza A/H1N1 flu have been confirmed in 24 countries and territories worldwide and 44 people have died from the disease.

Recently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for the Western Pacific, Shin Young Soo, praised the Vietnamese health sector for its preparations and readiness to cope with influenza A (H1N1). 

The WHO representative stated this at a meeting with Vietnamese Health Minister in Hanoi on May 5. He also pledged that WHO will continue its support and investment for the Vietnamese health sector in the future. 

Source: VNA

Compiled by Minh Nguyen

Use of dioxin is a crime against humanity

An Agent Orange victim in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

An Agent Orange victim in Vietnam. Photo: VNA

The International People’s Tribunal of Conscience in Paris made its final judgment on May 18, concluding that the use of dioxin by the US military in Vietnam from 1961 and 1971 was a war crime against humanity.

After examining evidence and the testimonies of 27 victims and experts, the tribunal found that the US Government and chemical manufacturers were well aware of the fact that dioxin is one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man, causing prolonged serious consequences not only to humans and the environment but also to the Vietnamese economy.

The tribunal concluded that the US Government is guilty of using dioxin and damaging the environment, defined as “ecocide”. The chemical companies are also guilty of collusion with the US Government’s actions.

The tribunal asked the US Government, and the chemical companies who manufactured and supplied AO, to fully compensate the AO victims and their families.

The tribunal also demanded they restore the environment to what it was before the war and eradicate any dioxin from Vietnam and its waters, especially hot spots around former US military bases.

To carry out the verdict, the tribunal recommended that a Commission on AO be established to assess the amount of compensation to be allocated to each victim, family and community.

The AO Commission will have to determine the amount needed to provide specialised medical facilities, rehabilitation and other therapeutic services to treat the victims and their families.

It will also estimate the cost of studying the contaminated areas and the future cost of restoring the environment. On top of this the Vietnamese State should be compensated for the cost of supporting the victims and cleaning up the environment.

The tribunal suggested that the commission be comprised of people of eminence in the fields of medicine, science, law, epidemiology, agriculture, ecology and representatives of civil society and to submit their recommendations within one year of its creation.

The requisite amounts defined by the commission shall be paid by the US Government and chemical companies into a trust fund set up for the victims and their families, which would also pay for the restoration of the environment.

Over 1.13 billion Euros (1.52 billion USD) a year is currently being paid by the US Government to US Vietnam veteran victims of AO and this figure could be employed as a guide for the AO Commission’s calculations.

The tribunal’s final judgment will be sent to Vietnam’s State President Nguyen Minh Triet, US President Barak Obama, UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon, and the Human Rights Committee.

Answering correspondents’ queries at a press conference after the tribunal, judges said that the tribunal was not only aimed at supporting AO/dioxin victims but also condemned the use of chemical weapons that are in use in conflicts around the world.

Source: VNA