The Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has mobilised nearly 2.5 trillion VND (116.8 million USD) for socio-cultural development of its sea, island and coastal areas over the past five years.

Under the programme on marine economic development from 2011-2015, nearly 2.5 trillion VND (116 million USD) has been spent on infrastructure for the education and training sector, with 2,550 new classrooms built, thus putting an end to three-shift schools.

Training courses have been also conducted to improve staff capability and enhance education quality.

As many as 113 kindergartens and 516 schools have been opened, raising the rate of school attendance among the 6-14 age group to 96 percent across sea, island and border areas, said Nguyen Thi Minh Giang, Director of the provincial Department of Education and Training.

The Kien Giang University was established to ensure high quality human resources to fully tap the potential of the locality and the region for marine economic sectors such as fishing, aquaculture, aquatic product processing, marine tourism and transport.

Additionally, more than 422 billion VND (19.7 million USD) has been allocated for building healthcare centres in all communes and districts in remote areas. Health insurance services are also being offered at the facilities.

Some 60 percent of the communal healthcare centres in the province meet national standards, said Ha Van Phuc, Deputy Director of the provincial Department of Health.

The Phu Quoc General Hospital has been equipped with hi-tech machines to treat complicated cases, and minimise moving patients to higher level hospitals and fatality rates.

A modern healthcare centre was built on 1,280 square metres in Tho Chau Island commune, Phu Quoc district with total investment of seven billion VND (327,000 USD). The facility has 26 rooms and hi-tech equipment.

Head of the centre Pham Thanh Cong highlighted the role of the facility in ensuring health for soldiers and residents on the island, especially when the locality is far from the mainland with only one ship arriving every week.

Another 100 billion VND (4.67 million USD) has been invested in the telecommunications network to ensure communication, national defence and security on the islands.

More than 43 billion VND (2 million USD) has been used to fund programmes on poverty reduction and job generation.

According to Vice Chairman of the provincial People’s Committee Le Khac Ghi, the province will continue its socio-economic development efforts in sea, island, and coastal areas in the next five years.-VNA