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Agent Orange Victim and Doctor from Vietnam to Testify Before Congress

Unite with U.S. Veterans in calling for Justice through Government Assistance

Washington DC -- On July 12-16, 2010, Ms. Tran Thi Hoan, a 23 year old Vietnamese victim of Agent Orange, and Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong, a Vietnamese physician and expert on the human effects of Agent Orange, will be in Washington D.C. to join U.S. military veterans in calling for justice and U.S. government assistance for Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims as well as medical care for the children of U.S. veterans and Vietnamese Americans exposed to Agent Orange. Their visit comes as the U.S. and Vietnam mark 15th years of diplomatic relations.

Ms. Tran Thi Hoan and Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong will testify at a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and the Global Environment on July 15th at 2:00 p.m. The hearing, called by the Chairman of the Subcommittee, Congressman Eni Faleomavaega will examine how to meet the needs of Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims who have been exposed to the toxic dioxin contained in the Agent Orange used by the U.S. during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange continues to sicken and disable those directly sprayed during the war, several generations of their offspring and those who live in “hot spots” where dioxin remains in the land and water.

Tran Thi Hoan, born on December 16, 1986 in Đức Linh district of Bình Thuận province in Central Vietnam is a second generation victim of Agent Orange. Her mother was exposed to Agent Orange as a result of the war. She was born without two legs and one hand is seriously atrophied. From the time she was 12 years old, Hoàn has lived in Peace Village II, the Agent Orange children’s center at Từ Dũ Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City. Hoàn, a bright and articulate college student, studies computer science in Ho Chi Minh City and is fluent in English.

Dr. Nguyen Thi Ngoc Phuong is Vietnam’s leading medical expert and researcher on the affects of Agent Orange on the health of the Vietnamese people and is Vice President of VAVA, a Vietnamese NGO representing hundreds of thousands of Agent Orange victims. She is currently the Chair of the Obstetrics & Gynecology Department of the Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacology.

During the week, they will meet with other members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, accompanied by American veterans. The visit is sponsored by the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign, a group made up of U.S. veterans, Vietnamese Americans, public health, environmental and legal experts, people of faith and peace activists.



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