Hanoi, December 20, 2021
The International Scientific Seminar "Diseases and diseases related to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure in Vietnam- Current status and solutions to improve the effectiveness of prevention and treatment" was held in Hanoi on 20 December 2021 in order to assess the current status of diseases assocciated with Agent Orange/dioxin exposure after many years Vietnam, supported by the international community, has made efforts to overcome the consequences of this crisis of the war, thereby suggesting solutions to improve the effectiveness of treatment and prevention of diseases that can be caused by exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin used in the war.
The seminar organized by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange, the Office of the National Steering Committee to overcome the consequences of landmines and toxic chemicals after the war in Vietnam (Steering Committee 701) and Vietnam Military Medical University of National Defense, with the participation of many Vietnamese and international scientists, had received more than 30 articles of scientists and doctors who have been or are directly treating diseases for people infected with Agent Orange/dioxin.
The seminar examined the status of diseases identified by Vietnam and other countries as associated with Agent Orange exposure; studied a number of other diseases with evidence related to Agent Orange exposure; researched on biological factors and social factors related to diseases of people infected with Agent Orange/Dioxin; evaluated the results of research and treatment of diseases, and proposed some models of treatment and prevention of diseases associted with Agent Orange/dioxin exposure.
The reports and discussions at the Conference showed that:
- The consequences of Agent Orange on the environment and ecology of Vietnam have been fundamentally overcome: The lands sprayed with toxic chemicals during the war are generally no longer contaminated with dioxin. All of the “hot spots” for dioxin retention, to varying degrees, have been or are being treated. However, the volume of soil and sediment contaminated with dioxin in hot spots that need to be thoroughly treated is still very large, the treatment process may take a long time, so dioxin remained in the soil and water sources in hot spots can still affect the health of people living around.
- While the Government and people of Vietnam have made great efforts to take care of and help those infected with Agent Orange/Dioxin to have an improved and more stable life, the organization of treatment and prevention of diseases associated with Agent Orange/Dioxin exposure still face many difficulties. Research in Vietnam and abroad has not been able to fully assess the impact of Agent Orange/dioxin exposure on human health. Along with the diseases that have been identified by the Vietnamese Ministry of Health as being associated with of Agent Orange exposure, there is ample evidence that people exposed to Agent Orange in Vietnam may also suffer from some other diseases. The pathogenic mechanism of Agent Orange/Dioxin has not been clarified yet, and it is not possible to study the characteristics of diseases associated with Agent Orange exposure in order to have an appropriate treatment modality. Measures to prevent diseases related to Agent Orange have been effective, but diseases related to Agent Orange/Dioxin exposure are still able of spreading to the third generation and fourth generation...
On the basis of above recognition, we, the participants of the International Scientific Conference "Diseases associated to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure in Vietnam – Current status and solutions to improve the effectiveness of prevention and treatment", with the conscience of doctors, with the responsibility of scientists, with the will to contribute to basically overcoming the consequences of the chemical war in Vietnam, urgently call on the governments of other countries and communities to the international community to continue to pay attention, help and support the Vietnamese people to overcome the consequences caused by Agent Orange/dioxin to human health in Vietnam.
To that end, we recommend:
1. To further accelerate environmental decontamination in hot spots of dioxin residues; continue to attach importance to the implementation of measures to improve the environment and ecology in areas affected by the spraying of toxic chemicals during the war to limit and overcome the continued contamination of toxic chemicals used in the war.
2. Along with environmental treatment, it is necessary to pay more attention to and invest more in research and organization of treatment and prevention of diseases associated with Agent Orange/Dioxin exposure to reduce mortality from diseases related to Agent Orange/Dioxin exposure, help people infected with Agent Orange directly as well as indirectly improve their health and living conditions.
3. Attention and focus on organization of treatment and prevention of diseases and illnesses related to exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin must be reflected in specific actions in national action programs and in International cooperation to overcome the consequences of toxic chemicals used in the war in Vietnam:
- Pay more attention, invest more and have coordination among relevant countries to continue research to confirm and detect diseases related to Agent Orange/dioxin exposure.
- Invest in research on the characteristics of diseases related to exposure to Agent Orange/Dioxin and factors that can affect those diseases in order to have appropriate methods and forms of treatment organization.
- Publish and have scientific conclusions on treatment and prevention models that have been researched and tested to be applied in practice in the treatment and prevention of diseases associated with exposure to Agent Orange/dioxin. .
- Expeditiously survey, investigate and build a digitized system of disease management of people infected and transferred with toxic chemicals to serve the treatment of diseases and illnesses for the above subjects.
The war was far behind in Vietnam, but the remediation of the war's aftermath was not over. Toxic chemicals used in the war still cause death and suffering for the Vietnamese people. Governments of relevant countries and the international community should strengthen cooperation and coordination with the Vietnam to overcome the consequences of this war
On behalf of all seminar participants
President of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange
NGUYEN VAN RINH