Professor, Doctor (Prof. Dr.) Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong is a leading scientist specialising in research on the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin on the health of Vietnamese people. In addition to her great contributions in the field of science, she is also the one who brought the voice of the victims of Agent Orange/dioxin to the world to call on the US government to exercise justice for their right to life and human rights.
|Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong|
Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, Vice Chairman of the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, Vice President of the Vietnam Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology, President of the Ho Chi Minh City’s Association of Endocrinology and Infertility.
- Born in 1944 in Bien Hoa - Dong Nai.
- Graduated in obstetrics and gynecology, in 1994, she was elected through 4 levels in the Council of French Medical Professors, and finally recognised by the French President as a Professor of Medicine.
- Deputy Chairman of the 8th National Assembly (1987-1992)
- Deputy Chairman of Foreign Affairs Committee of the 9th National Assembly (1992-1997).
- Director of the Heart Institute, Ho Chi Minh City (1989 - 1991).
- Director of Tu Du Obstetrics Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City (1990 - 2005).
- In 2000, she was awarded the title of Labor Hero by the State.
- In 2004, the State awarded the title of People\'s Doctor.
- Member of: Advisory Board on Women’s Health in Asia, ASPIRE Association (Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproductive Endocrinology), Vietnam - US Dialogue Group ...
Being an obstetrician and a gynecologist, since the 1970s, Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong had to witness many cases of malformed Vietnamese babies with unknown reasons. With pity in her heart before these little beings, Dr. Phuong worked hard to find and read many medical documents in order to find out the cause of this strange phenomenon. And in one such occasion, she stumbled across a scientific report on this topic published by the US National Academy of Sciences in 1974. After reading this, she began to suspect that the cases of birth defects in Vietnam were related to toxic chemicals used by the US military during the Vietnam War. To justify this suspicion, in 1982, she conducted a study on 1000 households in Thanh Phong Commune, Thanh Phu District, Ben Tre Province. Results showed that, the rate of deformities of people living in the area sprayed with Agent Orange was 3 to 4 times higher. In 1983, Dr. Phuong published this report in a British scientific journal. Since then, she began to pursue research on the effects of Agent Orange/dioxin on Vietnamese people.
Later, on the position of Vice Chairman of the Ho Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin of Ho Chi Minh City, and then of Vietnam, she has made great contribution in bringing the voices of Agent Orange/dioxin victims of Vietnam to the world, as well as struggled for their justice. Given the efforts of Prof., Doctor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong and the Vietnam’s Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin, on May 15, 2008, the US House of Representatives opened a hearing entitled: “Forgotten Responsibility! What must we do for Agent Orange victims?” At this hearing, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong was the first Vietnamese scientist to be invited to the US House of Representatives to present the issue.
At the third hearing taken place on July 15, 2010, Prof., Doctor. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong appealed to the US Congress that the US chemical companies must be responsible for compensating and assisting more than 3 million victims of Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam.
Dr. Phuong said that the road to fight for justice for Agent Orange/dioxin victims in Vietnam still has many difficulties but has attained initial results. For example, at the third hearing, the US government representative said they would be willing to cooperate with Vietnam in improving the environment, overcoming the consequences caused by Agent Orange/dioxin. In the short term, the action program for the period 2010 - 2019 led by the Vietnam - US Dialogue Group on Agent Orange/dioxin will support an amount of US $ 300 million (US $30 million/year) for Vietnam to remedy the contaminated lands and restore damaged environment, expand services to help the victims, etc.
Mentioning about Prof., Doctor Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, everyone also remembers her contribution in the building a system of 13 Peace villages, where Vietnamese children infected with Agent Orange are taken care and raised. Besides tireless efforts for Agent Orange/dioxin victims of Vietnam, Prof. Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong is also known as a famous specialist in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. She was the first to bring the technique of in vitro fertilization from Thailand to Vietnam, established a specialised neonatology department, established a sperm bank, and built a model for the \"village midwife\" training class to train Midwifery skills for women in ethnic minority areas ... Now despite being 77 years old, Prof., Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong still regularly makes many charity trips for poor people in remote provinces. To conclude this article, we would like to quote her statement at the third hearing on Agent Orange/dioxin of the US House of Representatives on July 15, 2010 to see her sentiment and endless concern for the victims: “The victims with cancer and other serious diseases caused by dioxin are dying daily. And every day, tiny, fragile beings are born with birth defects. Justice must be exercised for them, and they must be adequately compensated for the pain they and their families are suffering”.
Source: Vietnam Pictorial