The plight suffered by Vietnamese Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin victims can be alleviated with the full support of people from all walks of life, spiritually and financially, heard an online exchange held in Hanoi on July 30.

The exchange, co-organised by the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA) and the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) Online Newspaper, brought together lawyers and physicians who have accompanied Vietnamese AO victims on their long search for justice.

VAVA President Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Van Rinh announced that his association has partnered with relevant agencies, especially the press, in efforts to involve not only Vietnamese people at home and abroad but also international friends in easing the pain of AO victims.

Nearly 3,000 houses and 19 charitable centres for AO victims have been built in various localities with funding from the fund for AO/dioxin victims, which had collected 630 billion VND by the end of 2012.

Scholarships, gifts, production loans, wheelchairs, rehabilitation tools as well as medical checks-up and treatment have been provided, while a spate of mechanisms and policies and counselling services were initiated to help victims enjoy a better life, the VAVA official said.

The participants heard joint research works on the correlation between children born with deformities and dioxin and other chemicals sprayed by the US during the war, presented by physician Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong.

They were provided with a brief insight into the AO victims’ battle for justice in the US, told by lawyer Lu Van Dat, one of the first people to directly engage in the endeavour.

According to the VAVA, US troops sprayed 80 million litres of defoliant Agent Orange that contained almost 400kg of toxic dioxin in Vietnam’s southern battlefields during a 10-year period beginning on August 10, 1961.

Nearly 4.8 million Vietnamese people were exposed to dioxin. Today, around 3 million suffer from health problems due to the exposure.-VNA