Saturday, November 10, 2012

Vietnam – 80% of diseases caused by water source pollution

As much as 80 percent of diseases in Ho Chi Minh City are caused by the polluted water environment, the Ho Chi Minh City Preventive Health Center has warned.

Hoang Thi Ngoc Nan, head of the center’s Public Health Division, released the warning at a seminar on the health of women and children and water contamination issues jointly held yesterday by the HCMC Environmental Protection Sub-department and the city Fatherland Front Committee.

There are numerous diseases caused by contact with contaminated water from rivers and canals, such as cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, paralysis, dermatological diseases, eye problems, tuberculosis, and microorganism-caused poisoning, among others, Ngan said.

Contaminated rivers and canals are environments that facilitate the reproduction and proliferation of many viruses and contain chemicals that are harmful to people, especially women and children.

Toxic chemicals may not cause diseases instantly to people exposed to them, but they can be accrued in their bodies over time and then cause chronic diseases, Ngan said.

Meanwhile, pollution levels at most of the canals in Districts 5 and 6 and Binh Tan and Binh Chanh Districts are on the rise, the center warned.

The practice of littering by part of the city’s population has blocked some of the city’s water drainage system, causing stagnant water leading to pollution.

The HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment has  also warned that pollution in the Saigon River and most canals is getting worse.

The department blamed increasingly severe pollution on the widespread discharge of household waste and wastewater into rivers and canals. The department has asked the authorities to accelerate the construction of sewage treatment plants to cope with the situation.


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