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Tiếng Việt

Agent Orange sequelae, our pain and responsibilities

These diseases and deformities cause persistent pain, unhappiness, and trauma both physically and mentally for many victims and their families over the course of two or three generations. Each victim has a different pain, and each victim family has a different circumstance, but they all suffer.

The severe sequelae caused by Agent Orange to humans have been specifically specified by the Ministry of Health, Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs with 17 diseases, disabilities, deformities, and malformations such as: Bronchial, trachea, larynx, prostate and primary liver cancers, malignant multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin\'s lymphoma, Hodgkin\'s lymphoma, chloracne, reproductive abnormalities...

These diseases and deformities cause persistent pain, unhappiness, and trauma both physically and mentally for many victims and their families over the course of two or three generations. Each victim has a different pain, and each victim family has a different circumstance, but they all suffer.

We would like to name here some of the cases in Thua Thien Hue province:

A Luoi

The family of Mr. Nguyen Cai and Mrs. Luong Thi Cuoc in Quang Phuoc commune, Quang Dien district, is living in the area contaminated with toxic chemicals during the war. Mr. Cai died nearly ten years ago due to the sequelae of Agent Orange. They have 3 children (2 girls, 1 boy). The two daughters are normal, but their 37-year-old son weighs only about 15 kg. His limbs are contorted, while his head is crooked on one side. He can\'t move, his eyes are blurry, and he was born deaf. For 37 years now, the couple has to take care of their only son who is living a \"four-in-place\" life.

Since Mr. Cai\'s death, Mrs. Cuoc has to work to earn a living and take care for her unfortunate son alone. She hasn’t made a single complaint or grievance, but looking closely at the sad moments and austere wrinkles on her face, we can feel the utmost pain that she and her family are suffering.

At the residential cluster 5, Tu Ha ward, Huong Tra town, the family of Mr. Hoang Boi and his wife, Mrs. Hoang Thi Danh, is also in the area sprayed with toxic chemicals. The couple gave birth to a daughter who has intellectual problems but fortunately got married and gave birth to a son named Hoang Trung Tin. Tin is the 3rd generation of Agent Orange. His limbs are stiffened. He is paralyzed, almost motionless and has to stay in one place. Though being over 16 years old now, Tin weighs only about 10 kg.

The couple has to work hard, earn a daily living for themselves, and help their daughter to feed and care for their unhealthy grandchild.

Without a single complaint the couple has raised such a handicapped grandchild for over 16 years now. Who knows, how many more years the couple have to endure. They accept all tears to take care of their handicapped grandchild.

And here, the family of Mr. Tran Van Dui, Thuong Long commune, Nam Dong district, who was infected with Agent Orange, making it very difficult for him to walk. He can only take care of himself. He has 3 children, all of whom are deformed. Their limbs are contorted and stiffened. They can’t move on their own like a normal person. They have to depend all their living expenses on the monthly allowance that Du receives under the current regime.

Farm work or other jobs to earn extra income for their living expenses are all done by the wife alone. They own no asset worth more than 2 million VND, even a bed, as bed is unnecessary for the reason that no one can climb onto it by themselves.

Another very pitiful family is the one of Ms. Pham Thi Loan and Mr. Pham Duc Thinh (now died) living at house No. 83 - Song Hong, Phu Bai town, Huong Thuy town. Thinh used to fight in the area contaminated with toxic chemicals, and was exposed to Agent Orange, died a few years ago. Their first son is the only one that is not deformed. He got married but has no children.

The other two children, a male and a female, are both deaf and mute. The mute son got married and gave birth to a child, but the child can\'t hear or speak either. His limbs are skinny and contorted. The daughter is not married, now almost over 34 years old, still lives in the 3-generation family.

There are many, many other heartbreaking and pitiful families in this S-shaped country that we can’t mention all. The above victims, children and grandchildren are just a small number among more than 18,500 people exposed to Agent Orange in Thua Thien - Hue province.

Alleviating the \"pain of Agent Orange\" is a humanitarian act, a voice of conscience, a responsibility of all levels, branches, people and the whole society. Therefore, right after the end of war, the Party, Government and functional sectors in Vietnam have paid due attention to policies and regimes for victims of Agent Orange. Currently, the functional branches are still continuing to research in order to bring about more material and spiritual benefits in a more accurate and practical manner for the victims of Agent Orange.

On the other hand, the Party, State and leaders at all levels have also launched many movements and appealed the generosity of agencies, organizations, mass organizations, businesses and individuals at home and abroad... for more resources to assist Agent Orange victims and their families. The scheme of the “zero-interest loan\" fund for Agent Orange victims, initiated by the Thua Thien Hue Association for victims of Agent Orange has been operating effectively. If this model is multiplied by other regions, it will be a responsible way of gratitude to help the families of Agent Orange victims in sustainable poverty eradication.

Just as President Nguyen Xuan Phuc affirmed at the meeting with the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange that: “We will do our best, including international mobilization and socialization of resources, together with the State budget, to generate resources for the Association and take care of and help the victims with better living standards”. The consequences of war are still very heavy. Is there any pain more intense than Agent Orange? And this pain is not of someone own sorrow.


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