Da Nang authorities are planning to build its first center for dioxin detoxification in human victims, said Nguyen Thi Hien, chairwoman of the city's Association for Victims of Agent Orange.
She has told Dan Tri news website that Van Huu Chien, chairman of the Da Nang People's Committee, the municipal administration, had asked her agency to complete procedures so that the center could be build.
Last year, the agency sent 40 people suffering from dioxin poisoning to the 103 Hospital in Hanoi to receive detoxification treatments. The victims hailed from locations near the Da Nang Airport, a hot spot of dioxin contamination, she said.
"The health of these 40 people has improved remarkably from the treatment," Hien said.
The latest batch includes 24 people from Da Nang who were sent to the 103 Hospital in December.
The treatment process, known as the Hubbard method, involves perspiration, digestion and urinary excretion, according to Hoang Manh An, director of the 103 Hospital.
With the method, the victims are prescribed high potency vitamins and exercise strenuously for half an hour. They then enter a sauna to perspire profusely and dioxin will excrete out of the body through the process
DA NANG ASSOCIATION FOR VICTIMS OF AGENT ORANGE
522 Ong Ich Khiem Street, Hai Chau District, Da Nang City
Phone number: (84) 511 38669325
- Foreign currency: 004-1-37-044047-4 at the Joint stock commercial Bank for Foreign Trade of Vietnam (Vietcombank) Da Nang Branch
- Vietnamese dong: 561-10-00-000344-2 at the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV) Da Nang Branch
The controversial method was developed by L. Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology.
Hien said her agency is raising funds for the construction of the detoxification center in Da Nang that is expected to break ground later this year.
Her agency has sent ten doctors and medical workers to a dioxin detoxification center in Thai Binh Province to be trained as staff for the future Da Nang center.
The US Army sprayed 80 million liters of the defoliant dioxin, known as Agent Orange, containing 366 kilograms of the highly toxic poison over 30,000 square miles of southern Vietnam between 1961 and 1971.
According to a report released by the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs last year, more than 200,000 Vietnamese who were exposed to Agent Orange during and after the Vietnam War have contracted related diseases.
While the victims receive a monthly stipend from the government, as well as support from local and international agencies, their treatment is restricted by the lack of clinics qualified to treat their ailments, the report found.