Sunflower seeds free from dangerous additives
No aluminium and talcum additives were found in 10 samples of imported sunflower seeds tested by the National Institute of Food Safety Testing, the Viet Nam Food Administration under the Ministry of Health said.
There are no aluminium and talcum additives find in 10 samples of imported sunflower seeds.— Illustrative image
The tests were conducted after Chinese e-newspapers revealed seeds produced in Zhejiang Province contained dangerous levels of aluminium and talcum powder.
The administration will continue to collect samples for testing on a larger scale, especially from border areas.
Vietnamese nurses train to work in Germany
A group of 120 Vietnamese nurses start a German language course today to prepare for a training programme for elderly care nurses in Germany.
The project is jointly implemented by the Vietnamese Department of Overseas Labour, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the German International Placement Services and the Goethe Institute in Ha Noi.
The selected nurses are up to 25 years old and already hold a college or bachelor degree in nursing.
After the training, up to 100 high-performing candidates will start a two-year training programme in geriatric care in Germany and subsequently work there for three years.
They also have the chance to extend their stay in Germany.
“Viet Nam is the first non-European country that Germany co-operates with in the field of migration of skilled labour in the health care sector,” said GIZ deputy director Andreas Schneider in a press release sent out by the Ha Noi-based Goethe Institute.
According to the German Employment Agency, there is a shortage of trained geriatric nurses in Germany and the problem is expected to get worse.
MoF targets petrol smugglers
The Ministry of Finance has asked Tax and Customs offices in all provinces to prevent the smuggling of petrol by beefing up their patrols and inspections.
Sales of large amounts of petrol products to customers who fail to declare the purpose of their purchases have been banned.
Customs divisions will conduct round-the-clock patrols in areas that share borders with neighboring countries, while tax divisions, in coordination with related agencies, will check wholesalers, agents and traders of petrol products for sale invoices.
Domestic petrol retail prices are now much lower than those in bordering countries. Last week, the Ministry of Finance asked petrol traders to keep retail prices unchanged.
Eye-drop manufacturer to screen students
The makers of New V. Rohto eye drops along with two eye hospitals will organise an eye-care programme for more than 36,000 high-school students around the country from March 11 to April 27.
The programme, called Hanh trinh tiep buoc uoc mo (Journey to hold a dream), will provide free screening for students in 36 schools in Ha Noi, Thanh Hoa, Lai Chau, Ninh Thuan, Ben Tre, and HCM City.
It is for the eighth year that the programme is being held.
Biotic model used for environmental management in Vietnam
An international seminar on the application of the biotic ligand model (BLM) in environmental management was held in Hanoi on March 4.
The event, co-chaired by the General Office of Environment under the Ministry of National Resources and Environment (MoNRE), Loyola University Chicago, and the Asia Pacific Medical Toxicology Association, saw the participation of nearly 100 environmental scientists and administrators from Southeast Asian nations.
MoNRE Deputy Minister Bui Cach Tuyen said that the seminar aims to discuss opportunities and challenges, and share experience during the application of the model to evaluate pollution levels in Asian countries, including Vietnam.
BLM will be used to evaluate the impact of heavy metals such as Copper (Cu), Zinc (Zn) and Nickel (Ni) on creatures on land and in the water. However, figuring out a common poisonous level for all metals is impossible due to the diverse impact that substances have on different ecosystems.
One of the challenges facing Vietnam in environmental pollution management is the lack of a perfect model for heavy metal treatment that meets all technical, socio-economic and environmental criteria.
According to a draft on standards for environmental quality recently approved by the Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development, the contents of heavy metal in soil and vegetables are not allowed to exceed permitted levels.
First school opens on Truong Sa Islands
The first school on the Truong Sa (Spartly) Islands would open next month, said Nguyen Viet Thuan, deputy chairman of the Truong Sa District People’s Committee.
The two-storey Truong Sa Town Primary School, located on the cetral province of Khanh Hoa’s Big Truong Sa Island, includes six classrooms, two boarding rooms, a library and other supplementary facilities.
The construction of the school was funded by the “For beloved Truong Sa students” programme which was launched by the Vu A Dinh Scholarship Fund and the Ho Chi Minh City Law Newspaper last August.
Korean bank CEO honoured with Friendship insignia
Vietnam Union of Friendship Organisations (VUFO) President Vu Xuan Hong presented Shinhan Bank CEO Suh Jin-won with the “For Peace and Friendship among Nations” insignia in Hanoi on March 4.
Hong explained the insignia recognises Suh Jin-won’s significant contributions to boosting friendship and cooperation between Vietnam and the Republic of Korea (RoK), especially in the fields of education and training and humanitarian services.
Suh Jin-won expressed delight at receiving the insignia and reiterated he will do his utmost to promote the traditional bilateral relationship in the future.
Shinhan Bank first entered in Vietnam in 1993. Over the past 20 years, the bank has facilitated deepening the economic ties between the two countries.
It has organised annual exchanges and presented gifts to orphans and the poor.
Since 2009, the bank has donated dozens of billions of VND to classroom construction and scholarships offered by selected schools in Hanoi, Bac Ninh, Nghe An, Ho Chi Minh City, Binh Duong, and Ba Ria-Vung Tau.
50% of Vietnamese children have vitamin deficiency
More than 50 per cent of Vietnamese children fail to get enough vitamins or iron in their daily meals, says the National Institute of Nutrition.
Institute surveys showed the rate of Vietnamese children lacking different kinds of vitamins, namely A, B1, C and D, was higher than the other three countries in the region, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
The surveys on nutrition in Southeast Asia were conducted by the Vietnam Nutrition Association and the Friesland Campina Institute.
Project co-ordinator from the institute Le Nguyen Bao Khanh said the surveys were conducted at the same time in each country to provide a comparison.
They showed the number of children in urban areas lacking vitamins was higher than in rural areas. Girls in urban areas led the list of children lacking vitamins, their rate being 50 per cent.
Khanh said parents should be informed about the importance of vitamins in children’s development. Families needed to adjust their habits.
“The most serious consequence is the shortage will affect children’s height or lead to rickets,” she said.
Nutritionists said the two sources of vitamins were food and sunshine.
Vietnamese people’s meals lacked more vitamins than the other three countries and did not meet children’s development needs.
Institute director Le Thi Hop said the main source of vitamin D from food was eggs, milk and meat.
Children needed to be given one egg per day whereas adults could have 2-3, she said.
Children under one year old needed exposure to sun, especially in their first three months.
First Vietnamese doctor receives German Prize
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation has presented the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award to Associated Professor and Doctor of Science Nguyen The Hoang from 108 Military Hospital, announced the Germany Embassy in Vietnam.
The Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research award is the most prestigious in the German field of science and Hoang is the first Vietnamese to have received it for his successful surgery skills.
Hoang has been invited to cooperate with German colleagues.
The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation is a private fund in Germany which grants prizes and scholarships for more than 2,000 foreign scientists every year to conduct their research in Germany.
Since 1953, the foundation has provided 60 scholarships for Vietnamese scientists.
Forests a priority in Tien Giang
Land erosion and forest degradation across coastal areas in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta province of Tien Giang have reached alarming levels, increasing the risk of flooding.
Go Cong protection forest has been damaged by seawater intrusion in Mekong Delta’s Tien Giang Province.
Participants at a seminar held in Tien Giang on Thursday concluded that sustainable measures must be found to resolve the situation which has become progressively worse in recent years.
The combination of water flows near the coast, strong winds and waves has played a major role in the increase of land erosion and forest degradation.
Meanwhile, the impact of climate change and rising sea levels is worsening the situation.
Tien Giang has more than 1,500ha of protection forests along coastal lines, according to the province’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Of the figure, the Go Cong Dong protection forest, which directly shields the Go Cong sea dyke, accounts for nearly 700ha.
Protection forests along the Go Cong sea dyke have been severely eroded over the past 10 years and the province has not found effective measures to tackle the problem.
In some sections of the dyke, protection forests have been receding inland by 8-10 metres a year.
The width of protection forests along the Go Cong sea dyke is now very thin, ranging between 30-300 metres.
In places where protection forests are severely degraded, the dyke directly faces the sea and is at high risk of bursting, especially during storms and periods of low pressure.
In places where the dykes are exposed to the sea, the province has reinforced the dyke body and crest, but this is only a temporary measure.
Participants at the seminar proposed several ideas to protect sea coasts and create alluvial grounds for developing mangrove forests.
To mitigate the loss of forests, Tien Giang has set up plans for classifying different types of forests and developing each variety from now to 2020.
The development of protection forests will ensure requirements for wave and erosion prevention, as well as helping to diversify biology systems.
The province will plant new forests on vacant coastal areas and alluvial grounds, while encouraging all economic sectors to invest in forest development.