Online Program

Addressing the impact of agent orange on the health and lives of the people of viet nam

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 4:30 p.m. - 4:55 p.m.

Susan Hammond, War Legacy Project, Chester, VT
For nearly ten years over 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides were sprayed in southern Vietnam, two-thirds of these herbicides were contaminated with dioxin. The ongoing impacts of these toxic herbicides reverberates today in the lives of millions of Americans and Vietnamese men, women and children who were directly and indirectly - exposed to dioxin. In regards to Vietnam, individuals and organizations in the US and Vietnam are working in a joint effort to assess and then remedy the continuing impact of dioxin contamination on the environment of Vietnam and to prevent further human exposure. Since 2007 the US government has allocated $79.5 million “for environmental remediation of dioxin contaminated sites and related health activities in Vietnam”. The majority of this funding has been allocated to address dioxin hotspots at former US military bases. Currently, clean-up of contaminated soil is being done at the Da Nang airport using in-pile thermal desorption and a comprehensive assessment of the contamination at the Bien Hoa airbase will soon begin. On the health front, a US funded project will soon begin that aims to improve the lives of people with disabilities and to strengthen birth defect surveillance, newborn screening and cancer surveillance. The Vietnamese government has developed a National Action Plan on Agent Orange/Dioxin setting the year 2020 as the target date for completing Agent Orange/dioxin programs. The US government is also looking towards an end date for engagement with Vietnam on this issue. With less than seven years left to complete these mitigation efforts this begs the question of how can projects and funding be channeled strategically into the most effective long term program planning to achieve the best outcomes for people with disabilities and their families and communities. This discussion will review what is currently being done to mitigate the impact of Agent Orange on the people of Vietnam, what more needs to be done, and what else needs to be learned to enable the Vietnamese and American partners to work effectively to mitigate the impacts of Agent Orange in Viet Nam by the target date of 2020.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Ethics, professional and legal requirements
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the context and impact of pilot projects to address the health and social service needs of those believed to be affected by Agent Orange/dioxin in Vietnam. Identify the issues to be considered in the long term mitigation of the impact of Agent Orange/dioxin on the past, present and future populations of Vietnam

Keyword(s): Vietnam, Agent Orange

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have directed an NGO program between the United States and Vietnam for the past 20 years.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3465.0: Vietnam After the War