A festival featuring the traditional New Year celebrations of the H’mong ethnic minority group was held along the Hoan Kiem Lake pedestrian mall in Hanoi on January 10. Organised by the H’mong community living in the capital, the annual festival celebrates their traditional New Year and promotes their cultural characteristics.

H’mong traditional dances, musical instruments like the “khen”, games, and colourful outfits with accessories such as hats and silver jewellery brightened up the whole area on a cold winter’s morning.

The H’mong people’s traditional values have been preserved for a very long time.

The event re-enacted attractive cultural identities of H’mong people living in Vietnam. 

In addition to introducing traditional culture, the festival also allows for young H’mong people to understand more about their heritage. 

The festival has become a special event for the H’mong community in the capital as well as for Hanoians./.

Action programme to promote all-round development of children

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc recently signed off a national ten-year action plan for children to ensure their rights and all-round development and while creating a safe, healthy, and friendly environment for them to live.

The programme wants to raise the rate of children aged eight and younger accessing support services for comprehensive development to 90 per cent by 2025 and 95 per cent by 2030.

It plans to increase the rate of children less than one year of age to ensure they receive all eight vaccines recommended to 97 per cent by 2025 and 98 per cent by 2030, and have this rate at 98 per cent among under-five children in the next 10 years.

The first goal also targets lower rates of under-five children suffering from malnutrition related to weight, height, and obesity.

The second goal aims to bring the rate of children in specially disadvantaged circumstances down to less than 6.5 per cent by 2025 and 6 per cent by 2030, and raise the rate of those receiving care and assistance to 90 per cent and 95 per cent over the next five and ten years.

Under this programme, the rate of abused children is expected to be reduced to below 4.5 per cent and 4 per cent, and the rate of child and adolescent labourers aged 5-17 to 4.9 per cent and 4.5 per cent by 2025 and 2030, respectively.

The ratio of children suffering from accidents is hoped to decrease to 550 and 500 per 100,000 by 2025 and 2030, and the ratio of child fatalities caused by accidents to 16 and 15 per 100,000, respectively.

The third goal is about education, culture, and entertainment for children. The programme plans to raise the rate of under-fives covered by pre-school education to 99.1 per cent by 2025 and 99.3 per cent by 2030, those completing primary education to 97 per cent and 99 per cent, and junior high school education to 88 per cent and 93 per cent.

Apart from cutting dropout rates, it also looks to have 95 per cent of schools providing child mental health services in the next five years.

In the fourth goal about children’s participation in child-related issues, 30 percent and 35 percent of children aged seven and over are set to be consulted about these issues in suitable forms by 2025 and 2030.

The programme plans to improve awareness of participation rights and capacity for 85 per cent and 90 per cent of children in the next five and 10 years, and increase the rate of children taking part in models and activities that promote children’s participation rights to 30 per cent and 35 per cent, respectively.

Hanoi needs more assistance for infrastructure development: city leader

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Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue told Carolyn Turk, World Bank (WB)’s Country Director for Vietnam that Hanoi is in need of great resources for infrastructure development amidst its fast urbanisation during their meeting in Hanoi on January 12.

Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee Vuong Dinh Hue told Carolyn Turk, World Bank (WB)’s Country Director for Vietnam that Hanoi is in need of great resources for infrastructure development amidst its fast urbanisation, during their meeting in Hanoi on January 12.

He said that in the past five years, the city attracted 25 billion USD of foreign direct investment (FDI), with 4 billion USD in 2020 alone.

Towards the goal of a growth rate of 7.5 percent in the next five years, total development investment of the city is expected to expand 12 percent per year.

To this end, the city needs to call for more resources, including FDI and ODA and soft loans from international financial organizations, including the World Bank, he said, adding that Hanoi hopes for technical support and consultations in socio-economic development, social welfare, irrigation, urban management, traffic congestion settlement, and climate change response.

For her part, Turk showed her impression at the fast and strong growth of Hanoi. However, she said that the city is facing a number of problems, particularly river and lake pollution and poor air quality that need urgent settlement.

Over the years, the WB has assisted Hanoi in developing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system, but the aid has yet to match the potential and aspiration of the WB.

She suggested four cooperation areas in the time to come, including developing an urban railway system, including Line 6 from Noi Bai to Ngoc Hoi, and researching a strategic vision in urban transport.

The WB hopes to share its experience in tackling water pollution and food safety, she said, adding that the bank is conducting research into sources of air pollution in Hanoi and neighbouring localities, and the research results will be shared with Hanoi.

Lauding the opinions of the WB representative, Hue said that Hanoi aims to diversify resources to implement major infrastructure system.

The city hopes to receive support from the bank in completing the pre-feasibility research for the urban railway line No.6. The city will consider the use of the bank’s loans for other urban railway projects, he said.

The city leader said that he hopes that the WB will coordinate with the city in organising conferences and talks to seek solutions to urgent matters of Hanoi.

The same day, Hue also had a meeting with Kyle Kelhofer, the International Finance Corporation (IFC)'s Country Manager for Vietnam to discuss cooperation orientations between Hanoi and the IFC in the future./.

PM values inspection sector’s role in corruption fight

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc appreciated the Government Inspectorate’s contributions to the Party building and the corruption combat while addressing the inspection sector’s teleconference on January 12.

The sector reported that in the 2016 - 2020 period, the sum of money it found to be involved in corruption surged 134 percent, the sum proposed to be recovered rose 83 percent, and the recovered money shot up 5.7 times compared to the previous five years.

The numbers of corruption cases and related persons transferred to investigation agencies increased by over 56 percent and 92 percent, respectively.

In particular, the Government Inspectorate conducted inspections, uncovered violations, and proposed stringent settlement of many serious cases, including Mobifone’s acquisition of a 95-percent stake at the AVG company, the equitisation of Quy Nhon Port, and Phase 2 of the expansion project for the Thai Nguyen iron and steel factory.

The overlap in inspection activities has been improved considerably, the sector said, noting that local inspectorates have paid attention to post-inspection settlement.

In 2020, the whole sector conducted 6,199 administrative inspections and 181,227 specialised inspections and examinations, finding economic violations involving almost 86.369 trillion VND (3.7 billion USD) and 6,366ha of land. It proposed the recovery of over 23.84 trillion VND and 830ha of land while handing over 97 cases with 99 persons involved to investigation units.

Applauding the inspection sector’s contributions, PM Phuc said the country’s major successes over the last five years, especially in 2020, have helped enhance people’s trust in the Party and State, and that the fight against corruption and the settlement of complaints and denunciations have gained significant outcomes.

He spoke highly of the Government Inspectorate’s high sense of responsibility towards handling pressing issues in society, adding that the inspection sector’s prestige has improved.

Pointing out their shortcomings, he asked the Inspectorate and the entire sector to build proper inspection plans so as to serve the implementation of political tasks in their localities, including the realisation of the 13th National Party Congress’s resolution and the socio-economic development plans for 2021 and the next five years.

The PM also requested more attention to sensitive areas, carrying out unannounced inspections, steering clear of an overlap in activities of different agencies’ inspectorates, and coordination with relevant authorities in receiving citizens to serve the 13th National Party Congress and the election of deputies to the 15th National Assembly and all-level People’s Councils.

The sector also needs to push ahead with enforcing the Law on Corruption Prevention and Control, revise the 2010 Inspection Law, and build a lean, efficient, and effective apparatus, he underlined./.

HCM City hopes to receive more support from foreign NGOs

The Vietnam Union of Friendship Orgnisation (VUFO) in HCM City on January 12 held an annual meeting with foreign non-governmental organisations (NGO) in the city.
Addressing the event, President of the VUFO in HCM City Vuong Duc Hoang Quan thanked the General Consulates of countries, business associations, foreign organizations and foreign NGOs as well as individuals for their contributions in sustainable poverty reduction and socio-economic development in the city and Vietnam as a whole. 

This has helped Vietnam complete Millennium Development Goals and Sustainable Development Goals earlier than scheduled, he said.
Noting that many localities and regions of Vietnam still face difficulties, especially impacts from COVID-19 pandemic, climate changes and natural disaster, he said that the city and Vietnam need great assistance from the international community and foreign NGOs. 

HCM City hopes to receive support in education-training, vocational training, the provision of medical services to the poor, HIV/AIDS and drug prevention and control, as well as in raising public awareness of the rights of children and women as well as environmental protection and traffic safety. 

The VUFO in HCM City will continue coordinate with authorised agencies to give guidelines on legal and administrative procedures to the organizations, as well as in managing and using the assistance, he said.
Currently, HCM City is hosting 163 foreign NGOs, which operate mostly in education-training, social welfare, community development, environment and climate change response. 

In 2020, the city People’s Committee approved the reception of 124 aid packages worth nearly 84.2 million USD./.

Vietnam, Timor-Leste to maintain mutual support at regional, int’l forums

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Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh (L) at the online talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno (Photo: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh held talks with the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Timor-Leste, Adaljiza Albertina Xavier Reis Magno, via videoconferencing on January 12.

The Timor-Lester official congratulated Vietnam on its success in the 2020 ASEAN Chairmanship, especially the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), and thanked the country for promoting the organisation of two teleconferences between representatives of the ASEAN Community’s economic and socio-cultural pillars and her country last year.

She emphasised that Timor-Lester views joining ASEAN as one of the top priorities in its foreign policy.

The minister also appreciated Vietnam’s assistance when her country faced difficulties, including exporting rice to help Timor-Leste ensure domestic food security.

For his part, Minh expressed his delight at the growth in bilateral trade despite the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the global economy, affirming that Vietnam is ready to assist and cooperate with Timor-Leste in the areas the latter has demand in such as agriculture, fisheries, and oil and gas.

The two sides should set up and implement mechanisms and concrete measures to tap into the huge cooperation potential, he suggested.

The Deputy PM and FM asked Timor-Leste to soon ratify the bilateral trade agreement inked in 2013; sign a bilateral investment protection agreement and another on visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders; facilitate operations of Vietnamese enterprises in Timor-Leste, including Viettel Telemor; and deal with emerging issues in line with laws and the spirit of the two countries’ sound cooperation.

The officials agreed to promote the two foreign ministries’ role in strengthening multifaceted cooperation and soon establish a joint committee for bilateral cooperation to create a framework for fostering ties in the fields matching their countries’ potential and demand like agriculture, fisheries, textile - garment, consumer goods, industrial machinery, electrical devices, and oil and gas.

They also concurred in working together to effectively implement the 2015 deal on cooperation in rice trading and create favourable conditions for Timor-Leste students to study in Vietnam.

Vietnam and Timor-Leste will continue with cooperation and mutual support at regional and international organisations and forums, especially the United Nations, they added.

Deputy PM and FM Minh welcomed and voiced support for Timor-Leste’s aspiration for becoming a member of ASEAN./.

Over 6.4 million poor, near-poor households get preferential loans

The Vietnam Bank for Social Policies (VBSP) said it is providing loans for 6.4 million poor and near-poor households.

As of the end of 2020, the bank’s total credit balance stood at 226.19 trillion VND (9.86 billion USD), a year-on-year rise of 9.4 percent.

Its loans have generated jobs for more than 361,000 labourers at home, and supported over 5,200 guest workers, along with nearly 44,600 disadvantaged students.

Around 200 businesses have accessed the loans to ensure wages for more than 8,500 employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The capital has also contributed to the building of 1.3 million water supply and hygiene facilities in rural areas, and thousands of houses for poor households, the bank said.

Its accumulative policy credit capital was 233.42 trillion VND at the end of 2020, up 21.53 trillion VND year-on-year.

Such localities as Hanoi, HCM City, Da Nang, Binh Duong, Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, Binh Dinh, Quang Ninh and Vinh Phuc have made outstanding performance in social policy credit activities that have significantly contributed to the implementation of policies, guidelines, targets and tasks of the Party and the State regarding sustainable poverty reduction, new-style rural area building, personnel development, and ensuring social welfare, political stability, and national defence and security.

Amidst the complex developments of the pandemic, the bank will continue to assist the poor and other social policy beneficiaries, it affirmed./.

Project helps improve land valuation capacity, land information system

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A conference was held in Hanoi on January 12 to review a project to enhance Vietnam’s capacity in land pricing and land information system basing on VietLIS – a software providing technical assistance in development of multi-purpose land information system.

The project, implemented by the General Department of Land Administration under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE), covers Tu Son township in the northern province of Bac Ninh, Hai Chau district in the central city of Da Nang, Binh Xuyen district in the northern province of Vinh Phuc and O Mon district in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho.

The major objectives of the project include supporting the building of database on land price, as well as forming a land information system, updating VietLIS software, transferring technology and providing equipment.

Addressing the conference, MoNRE Deputy Minister Le Minh Ngan said that the ministry aims to put the national database on land into operation at all levels from July this year.

He stressed the need to renew the land pricing and management activities.

Meanwhile, Director of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Vietnam Cho Han Deog said that the project is launched following an agreement signed between the two countries in September 2013. The KOICA and the General Department of Land Administration worked together in building land management information from 2012 to 2015, which is continued with the project to enhance Vietnam’s capacity in land valuation and land information system basing on VietLIS.

He said that the project applies the land pricing method that has been used in the Republic of Korea (RoK). It is expected to make a strong progress in the field, contributing to socio-economic development and security protection in Vietnam, he added.

According to Vice Director of the General Department of Land Administration Dao Trung Chinh, the MoNRE and the department have directed the implementation of various measures to speed up the project.

So far, it has completed the building of a model method on land pricing and land pricing procedures, as well as the designing of a draft strategy and roadmap for land pricing in Vietnam, along with the land information system on the VietLIS platform. It has provided equipment and capacity raising support in the field in ministries and localities, said Chinh./.

Congratulatory message to 11th national congress of Lao People’s Revolutionary Party

The Party Central Committee has sent a congratulatory message to the 11th national congress of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party (LPRP).

“We warmly congratulate Laos on the glorious success in the cause of national liberation and defence as well as the historic great and comprehensive accomplishments that the Lao people have gained during the 35 years implementing the renewal policy and five years implementing the Resolution of the LPRP’s 10th national congress, which have further elevated the role and position of the Lao party and the Lao country in the international arena,” the message read.

It went on to say that those achievements again testified to the clear-sighted leadership and the sound and creative policies of the LPRP, demonstrating the party’s revolutionary mettle and firmness against all difficulties and challenges as well as its dedication to the goal of national independence, a prosperous and powerful country and happiness for the people, as well as to the global cause of peace, national independence, democracy and social progress.

“The 11th national congress of the LPRP marks a new period of development of the Lao revolution,” the message noted, stressing that as a close friend and comrade sharing the same ideal, the Communist Party of Vietnam is always willing to share difficulties and hardship with the fraternal LPRP and Lao people.

It said the relations between the two Parties, States and peoples of Vietnam and Laos are of vital significance to the cause of safeguarding national independence, sovereignty, territorial integrity and socialism building in each country, positively contributing to peace, stability, cooperation and development in the region and the world as a whole.  

“The Party, State and people of Vietnam will, in any circumstances, do their best together with the Lao Party, State and people to preserve, foster and pass on to later generations the special solidarity relationship between Vietnam and Laos,” the message read.  

The Vietnamese Party took the occasion to express the sincere and deep gratitude for the great and valuable support and assistance that the Lao Party, State and people have given to Vietnam in the struggle for national liberation and reunification in the past and the cause of renewal, national construction and defence at present. 

Also on the occasion of the Lao party’s 11th national congress, Party agencies, ministries, sectors, the Vietnam Fatherland Front, mass organisations and the Vietnam-Laos Friendship Association also sent messages of congratulations to their Lao counterparts./.

Awards to honour excellent press works on Party building

The fifth National Press Awards on Party Building, called “Bua Liem Vang” (Golden Hammer & Sickle), will be presented at a ceremony in Hanoi on January 13.

Honouring outstanding press works on Party building, the annual awards are held by the Party Central Committee’s Organisation Commission, the Nhan dan (People) newspaper, the Communist Review, Vietnam Television, and the Vietnam Journalists’ Association.

Organisers said they received 1,710 entries in various genres that reflected issues of public concern last year, such as preparations for and the organisation of all-level Party congresses in the run up to the 13th National Party Congress.

They include a number of high-quality articles on Party building and rectification in terms of politics, ideology, organisation, and morality; the selection of personnel for the 13th National Party Congress; lessons from all-level Party congresses; the reform of cadre evaluation; the control of power in personnel affairs and the fight against power lobbying; the encouragement and protection of those who dare to think and act; and measures to select persons with both talent and morals.

According to organisers, the National Press Awards on Party Building has had a broad influence on society, as seen not only through the large number of entries and the engagement of all-level Party committees, journalist associations, and press agencies nationwide, but also through the effectiveness of entries in covering Party and political system building in 2020./.

Thailand: Yala dam reduces overflow to lessen flood in Pattani

Pattani province, southern Thailand, has been flooded for days with water from Bang Lang dam in Yala province, as the dam had to release a huge volume of water into the Pattani river.

Although Bang Lang dam had already raised the level of its spillways to reduce the volume of excess water flowing into the Pattani river, Pattani city and some districts, became thoroughly soaked in the days since January 6.

The water level of the Pattani river overflowed the capacity limit and flooded most areas of the province. Now the city, villages, main and secondary roads are covered with up to 2 meter high floodwaters.

Traffic on many roads was sluggish today. Some motorcycles broke down because the water got into their engines. Police officers from Pattani city had to help move the stalled vehicles and facilitate the movement of traffic.

Moreover, over 10 schools affected by the inundation have announced their closure for at least two days or until the situation is resolved.


The local authorities expect that it will take about five days to have the water propelled through the river and forced into the sea. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation has installed water pumps to accelerate the remedial process./.

Indonesia receives another 15 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Indonesia received the third bulk of COVID-19 vaccine by Chinese manufacturer Sinovac Biotech one day prior to the start of the national vaccination campaign.

The batch of 15 million doses was transferred to the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta's western outskirts on January 12.
Indonesian earlier received 1.2 million doses of the vaccine on December 6, 2020 and 1.8 million doses on December 31 from Sinovac Biotech.

Head of the country’s COVID-19 Task Force Doni Monardo called on the public to strictly observe health regulations despite the upcoming vaccination programme.

The Southeast Asian nation witnessed a surge in infection number in the past two months. Official data showed that about 123,000 patients are being treated, twice of the 54,000 recorded in last November.

The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) gave Sinovac Biotech’s COVID-19 vaccine the emergency use authorisation (EUA) on January 11, following data stating it is 65.3 percent effective.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo is set to be the first to get the shot in a live broadcast ceremony. Afterwards, priority will be given to 1.3 million health workers in the first phase.

On January 11, the country decided to extend the ban of foreigners’ entry for another two weeks to January 28 amidst the continued spread of COVID-19. It first imposed the ban after the appearance of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 in the country./.

Environment ministry, VFF enhance cooperation

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and the Vietnam Fatherland Front (VFF) Central Committee held a conference in Hanoi on January 12 to review their cooperation programme for the 2017-2020 period.

Accordingly, both sides raised public awareness of environment protection efforts, including leading eco-friendly lives as well as properly use and tap natural resources.

Residents raised their sense of responsibility for monitoring environment protection by individuals, organisations and businesses in the process of carrying out socio-economic activities in their residential areas. They also fought violation behaviours in the field in localities.

During the period, standing board of the VFF Central Committee assisted 50 out of 63 cities and provinces in building and spreading 344 exemplary models of environment protection.

The two sides also worked with relevant agencies to oversee the exploitation of natural resources and climate change response in 10 cities and provinces. The VFF chapters at all levels held 2,550 inspections and collected public feedback to report to authorities.

Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha wished that the MoNRE and the VFF would continue working closely together on State management areas to further uphold their role in response to climate change, natural resources management and environment protection.

President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man proposed the inspection of Environment Protection Law enforcement at manufacturing facilities, improving environment at major urban, industrial areas and craft villages, contributing to mitigating plastic waste.

Concluding the event, the VFF Central Committee and the MoNRE signed a cooperation programme in the field for the 2021-2025 period.

On the occasion, Minister Ha presented the insignia “For the cause of natural resources and environment” to Secretary of the Party Central Committee and President of the VFF Central Committee Tran Thanh Man, and Vice President and Secretary General of the VFF Central Committee Hau A Lenh.

The VFF Central Committee also honoured 10 collectives and 20 individuals while the MoNRE handed over certificates of merit to 10 collectives and five religious organisations in honour of their dedication in environment protection during 2017-2020./.

Vietnam-EU relations to grow further in coming years

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PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc witnessed the signing of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. (Photo: VNA)

With rapid development over the past 30 years, cooperation between Vietnam and the EU is expected to grow further in 2021 and the years to come, a Vietnamese official has said.

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung highlighted comprehensive developments of the Vietnam-EU relationship and considered prospects for the ties in a recent article published on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the bilateral diplomatic ties (November 28).

Over the past three decades, the diplomatic ties have made rapid, outstanding strides, expanding from cooperation in certain areas to a comprehensive partnership, he said, noting this has affirmed the trust-worthy and friendly spirit and shared long-term vision of the two sides in efforts to elevate the bilateral relations and contribute to peace, cooperation and development regionally and globally.

The Deputy FM attributed the achievement to the dynamic shift from traditional fields to other potential realms.

The EU is one of Vietnam’s leading and strategic partners, which holds an important role in the international arena in terms of security and peace, as well as economy and development, Dung affirmed.

Meanwhile, Vietnam is a strong partner of the EU in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Asia-Pacific.

The two sides’ efforts to promote their bilateral ties can be seen in the regular exchange of high-ranking delegations and their close coordination in various fields, he added.

The two sides also supported each other in the COVID-19 pandemic fight, and the EU has provided aid for Vietnam’s central provinces affected by natural disasters last October, the official went on.
 In the article, Dung highlighted the signing and ratification of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement (EVFTA), effective since last August, as a milestone in the bilateral ties.

Currently, the EU is Vietnam’s fifth largest trade partner, third biggest importer, a major investor and leading non-refundable aid provider.

Along with economic and trade collaboration – the main pillar of the partnership – many other cooperative areas have also made progress over the past time, notably the signing of the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and Cooperation (FPA), and the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VGA/FLEGT).

Vietnam and other ASEAN member countries wish that the EU will play a more active and constructive role in the region, for peace and prosperity, promoting multilateralism, free trade and the rule of law, he said.
As ASEAN Chair 2020, Vietnam has raised its voice and made marked contributions, according to the official.

The country has also successfully performed its role as a non-permanent member the United Nations Security Council for the 2020-2021 tenure, and the Chair of the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA).

For its part, the EU has stepped up its close and comprehensive cooperation with ASEAN and its member countries, including Vietnam, and has clearly and strongly affirmed its stance on issues relating to navigation security, legal order, peace and stability in the East Sea, Dung said.

During the 30 years of cooperation and development, the relationship between Vietnam and the EU has made long-term strides on the basis of strategic, in-depth strategic visions, towards higher level, he stressed./.

Hà Nội FC set sights on silverware in 2021

Coach Chu Đình Nghiêm of Hà Nội FC said it was difficult to predict who would win the 2021 V.League 1, but said his team would be going all out to triumph.

“Only when the tournament begins can we know who are the title favourites. Hà Nội’s failure to defend the title last year is a strong push for us to blow everything away this year,” said Nghiêm at the club's season kick-off ceremony.

“We (Hà Nội) have never been satisfied with what we have won,” he said.

Hà Nội finished second in the league last year but lifted the National Cup and Super Cup.

The five-time winners will compete in three tournaments, the V.League 1, National Cup and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup, in the season which marks their 15th anniversary.

“To celebrate our anniversary there would be nothing better than a better result in the AFC Cup and the top position in the domestic events,” said Hà Nội FC president Đỗ Vinh Quang.

The team secured Việt Nam’s best result in the AFC Cup in 2019 when they reached the Inter-zone final.

Quang said Hà Nội will consider the AFC Cup their priority but domestic competitions will also be a focus as they want to win the National Cup for the third year in a row, which would be a national record.

“Once again, these tasks will be big challenges for our mental and physical strengths. But we all unite together to overcome these obstacles and be worthy of what our supporters expect. We are the pride of the capital city,” said Quang who was named president last year, becoming the youngest president in the league at the age of 25.

Speaking at the ceremony, captain Nguyễn Văn Quyết said his team have had more than one month to prepare for the new season and they were ready.

“2020 was a tough season. We have sat down, talked and pointed out our best plan. We hope that with strong support and sponsorship this season we will be best in all tournaments,” he said.

“All teams in the V.League 1 want to beat Hà Nội because we are home to national team players. I am honoured to be part of the team. My personal goals will be competing in all the matches and increasing my number of goals in the AFC Cup.”

At the ceremony, Hà Nội also introduced their newcomers and welcomed back players who were sidelined with injuries in 2020.

Brazilian striker Geovane Magno said he saw the strong development of Hà Nội in recent years and many of their players have become the core of the national team.

Meanwhile, his fellow Brazilian and newcomer Bruno Cantanhede said he hoped with his contribution Hà Nội could win in all competitions.

Cantanhede came to Hà Nội after a successful season with champions Viettel, while Magno left Sài Gòn FC to move to Hà Nội for a record salary of US$20,000 per month.

Hà Nội will visit Nam Hà Nam Định in the first match on January 15 at the Thiên Trường Stadium. Last year, Hà Nội trounced Nam Định 4-2 in their only meeting in March. 

Doctor warns of stroke risks for children

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The cerebral aneurysm sac (in circle) of the 3-year-old boy. Photo courtesy HCM City's Children's Hospital

News that a three-year-old boy suffered a stroke recently shocked parents across Viet Nam.

Earlier this month, HCM City’s Children's Hospital reported a three-year-old child faced a month of hospitalisation due to a haemorrhagic stroke.

The boy living in Vinh Long Province was playing with his friends then suddenly fell to the floor, had convulsions and lost consciousness.

He was transferred to the Children's Hospital where tests showed signs of bleeding in the head.

The boy had digital subtraction angiography (DSA) of his cerebral vessels to find the cause of the stroke.

The result of the cerebral haemorrhage was that the boy had a cerebral aneurysm sac.

Cerebral aneurysm is a common disease and one of the leading causes of death in the elderly, said Huỳnh Hữu Danh, one of the doctors of the surgical department who treated the boy.

While cerebral aneurysms are becoming more common among younger people, the boy is the youngest Danh has seen with a cerebral vascular aneurysm.

The boy will have stents inserted to stop the cerebral aneurysm sac from breaking again when his health is stable, said the doctor.

This was not the first case of a child suffering a stroke. Last year, the hospital also successfully treated a three-year-old boy who had a stroke caused by infarction.

Strokes could happen to babies and there are also cases of infants getting strokes, according to the doctor.

Strokes are typically either a hemorrhagic stroke or an ischemic stroke. Strokes in children are more often hemorrhagic than ischemic, the doctor said.

The most common cause of hemorrhagic stroke in children is due to the rupture of a cerebral vascular malformation or the rupture of the cerebral aneurysm. They can also be caused by blood clotting disorders.

The dangerousness of the stroke depends on the severity of the infarction or bleeding.

Once a stroke has been recorded, it is identified as a very serious illness, whether it happens to a child or an adult.

For cerebral hemorrhagic strokes, if the treatment is not timely, there may be damage to the nerve centres in the brain stem leading to a risk of brain loss and death.

Most of the treatment methods for hemorrhagic stroke in children are not different from adults. But strokes in children are harder to recognise than in adults, leading to late diagnosis and treatment.

Stroke symptoms vary from case to case.

In children from six years and older, the symptoms are the same as in adults, including hemiplegia, distorted mouth and slurred speech. But in younger children, the symptoms are unclear.

The most common signs are that the child will be fussy, have a headache, blurry vision and hemiplegia so it is difficult to recognise and easily confused with other diseases.

The "golden" time to save the life of children with cerebral hemorrhagic stroke is six hours from the time the child's symptoms appear to surgery.

In case the child is hospitalised late, even if the surgery is successful, the child must practise physiotherapy for six months and the maximum recovery rate is only about 80 per cent.

For children, stroke prevention is a huge challenge worldwide. Unlike adults whose strokes stem from factors such as hypertension, smoking, and fibrosis, atherosclerosis and obesity, for children, there are none of these risks.

The causes are mostly congenital, cerebral venous artery malformations or cerebral aneurysm vesicles that do not manifest clearly without rupture. Therefore, it is very difficult to prevent strokes in children.

According to Danh, the only way to save a child with a hemorrhagic stroke is to quickly take them to the nearest medical facility.

Without timely treatment, children would be at a very high risk of disability, even death, the doctor said. 

New health insurance policy may cause overload at city-leveled hospitals

HCM City’s public hospitals face a threat of being overrun due to a change in the health insurance policy that increases the claim settlement level from 60 per cent to 100 per cent when transferred to higher-level hospitals.

Patients coming from outside the city for treatment used to be eligible for only 60 per cent compensation since its hospitals rank higher in the hierarchy of public hospitals compared to their provincial counterparts.

Besides, for that they needed to get their local hospitals to refer them for treatment at a ‘higher level’ hospital in a city.

But with effect from January 1 the Law on Health Insurance has been amended to allow people to get full insurance coverage and even without certification from their provincial hospital.

Most hospitals in HCM City expect the number of patients to increase as a result.

Dr Trần Ngọc Hải, deputy director of Từ Dũ Hospital, said preparations had been made in terms of facilities, equipment and human resources to meet the higher demand.

The hospital expects 50  per cent increase in the number of patients from last year.

It has 2,000 beds.

Dr Diệp Bảo Tuấn, deputy director of the Oncology Hospital, said 75 per cent of its inpatients were from provinces.

The hospital is prepared for a possible rush following the opening of the Oncology Hospital No.2 in District 9.

Đặng Thị Cúc, 76, a patient from Lâm Đồng Province who is being treated at the Oncology Hospital, said the new policy would greatly help poor patients like her.

However, many city hospitals have asked the Department of Health to take steps to prevent overloading.

The Ministry of Health is trying to improve provincial hospitals through programmes such as 1816, under which experts are rotated between central- and local-level hospitals to improve the quality of healthcare in rural areas.

Regulation on coordination in building e-Government and e-court signed 

The Government Office and the Supreme People's Court signed a regulation on coordination in the building of e-Government and e-courts to serve the direction, administration and reform of administrative procedures, at a ceremony in Hanoi, on January 12.

Secretary of the Party Central Committee, Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court Nguyen Hoa Binh and Minister-Chairman of the Government Office Mai Tien Dung presidedover the ceremony. 

Using this regulation, the Government Office and the Supreme People's Court will coordinate in the building of e-Government, e-Courts as well as administrative procedure reform. In particular, the two sides will support and closely coordinate in the building and completion of the institution to create a full legal environment for the implementation of E-Courts;consulting and sharing experiences in the process of developing projects on information technology application, e-Government development and E-Courts. 

The Government Office will advise onand support the application of information technology in the administration and management of records, documents and the implementation of work on the electronic environment of the court system,connecting with the national text communication axis to serve the sending and receipt of electronic documents within the court system and with state administrative agencies at all levels. 

The signing of the coordination regulation marks a milestone inclose coordination between the reform and building of e-Government in state administrative agencies with administrative and judicial reform work, building e-Courts of judicial agencies, creating synergy, enhancing effectiveness and efficiency in performing the assigned tasks of both agencies; creating a basis for in-depth, substantive and effective coordination between the two agencies. 

This is also the basis for the Government Office to improve the quality of advice and assistance to the Government and Prime Minister in directing and administering administrative reform work, building e-Government and the digital government, economy and society. 

Minister Mai Tien Dung suggested the Government Office and the Supreme People's Court cooperate to continue to expand sending and receiving electronic documents on the national text communication axis to all agencies of the Supreme People's Court, and between the agencies of Supreme People's Court and state administrative agencies at all levels; enhancing the application of information technology in the administration andmanagement of records, documents, and handling work acrossthe electronic environment of the Supreme People's Court system. 

The two sides were urged to complete the ecosystem to serve people and businesses in the electronic environment through promoting the online public service provision of the court sector on the National Public Service Portal, creating a useful foundation for e-businesses and e-citizens - one of the most important tasks in the successful implementation of national digital transformation.