Follow us on: 
facebook
youtube
flick
 

Road Safety and Tobacco Programmes in Viet Nam Visited by Michael Bloomberg

Print Email

M bloomberg reutersNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (C) helps a pupil put on a helmet during an event to give children motorcycle helmets at a school in Hanoi March 23, 2012. Bloomberg arrived in Vietnam on Friday to visit programmes supported by his charitable foundation Bloomberg Philanthropies, including tobacco and road safety issues, according to a press release. REUTERS/Kham

Credit: Reuters

Ha Noi, 23 March 2012Mr Michael R. Bloomberg, philanthropist and Mayor of New York City arrived in Viet Nam today, and is visiting programmes supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies’.

Through the World Health Organization (WHO) and associated partners, Bloomberg Philanthropies’ have been instrumental in supporting programmes on two major public health issues, tobacco and road safety, which combined, claim an estimated 55,000 lives in Viet Nam every year (40,000 for tobacco and a further 15,000 from road trauma).

Bloomberg Philanthropies’ support to road safety in Viet Nam is part of a broader project to facilitate national governments’ uptake of road safety action in 10 low and middle-income countries.  – known as the Road Safety in Ten Countries (RS10) project. These countries collectively represent approximately 50% of the 1.2 million deaths that occur on the world’s roads each year, costing countries between 1% and 3% of their gross national product. Launched in 2010, this project is aligned with the goals of the United Nations Decade of Action on Road Safety (2011–2020), which aims to stem the expected increase in road traffic deaths over the coming decade. Bloomberg Philanthropies has made a substantial financial contribution in support of accomplishing these objectives.

In Viet Nam the RS10 programme is led by the National Traffic Safety Committee (NTSC) and has a dual focus of reducing drinking and driving and increasing the use of good quality helmets among motorcyclists. Alcohol impairment is a major cause of road traffic injuries in Viet Nam, with an estimated 36% of those injured as a result of road traffic crashes exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit.

As Dr Graham Harrison, acting WHO Representative to Viet Nam explains, “The drink–driving programme in Viet Nam is based on international evidence which shows that legislation and enforcement, coupled with hard-hitting public awareness campaigns, can be extremely effective in reducing alcohol-related road deaths”. RS10 also aims to improve the quality of helmets being worn by motorcyclists: while helmet wearing rates in the country are high following the 2007 helmet law, the proportion of those wearing helmets meeting the national standard remains low, at about 20%, greatly reducing the potential to prevent traumatic brain injuries in the event of a crash.

Mr. Than Van Thanh – Chief Secretariat of the NTSC said, “RS10 has provided valuable financial and technical support, contributing to Viet Nam’s commitment to preventing drink-driving.”  “Preliminary results are very promising, showing small but significant reductions in road traffic fatalities and serious injuries in both Ha Nam and Ninh Binh provinces”.

Plans for 2012-2013 are to scale-up this effective programme, bringing technical and financial support to three additional provinces (Vinh Phuc, Quang Ninh and Bac Ninh).

Mayor Bloomberg has also provided crucial and strategic support to reduce tobacco use, a leading cause of preventable death in Viet Nam and a major risk factor for non communicable diseases like cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema and other respiratory ailments. The “Bloomberg Initiative”, which commenced in 2007, emphasizes six proven policies to reduce tobacco use (MPOWER)#. “Viet Nam is one of 15 low and middle income countries in this programme, selected for the un-enviable position of having the highest number of smokers” said Dr Harrison.  “Locally almost 50% of males smoke, exposing two-thirds of women and an estimated 50% of children to the harmful effects of second hand smoke.”

Support through the Bloomberg Initiative and its partners and grantees has resulted in an unprecedented acceleration of tobacco control advocacy for key measures that can reduce tobacco consumption including raising of prices and taxes, bans on in-door smoking and comprehensive bans on advertising, promotion and sponsorship of tobacco products.  It is widely perceived that the Bloomberg Initiative projects have effectively created new policy space as well as strong public support for tobacco control measures. “

The draft tobacco control law is anticipated to be finalized during the May 2012 session of the National Assembly.  “Once approved Viet Nam’s tobacco control law will set the scene for significant reductions in tobacco related harm,” said Dr Luong Ngoc Khue, the Director of the Standing Office of the Viet Nam Committee on Smoking and Health (VINACOSH).  “At the provincial level, a growing number of workplaces and public places are already becoming smoke-free, creating healthier work and public places in Viet Nam” he added.

 “WHO highly values the commitment and support of the Government and Mayor Bloomberg in tackling these major public health challenges.  We look forward to continuing our strong cooperation with national and provincial stakeholders to achieve our common goal of saving lives and preventing disability in Viet Nam” concluded Dr Harrison.

MPOWER#
Monitor tobacco use and prevention policies
Protect people from second-hand tobacco smoke,
Offer help to quit smoking,
Warn about the dangers of tobacco
Enforce ban on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship
Raise tax on tobacco products

-ENDS

WHO Media Contacts:
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Mobile: 0915 413 814

Spotlight

ban-ki-moon.jpg

The Secretary-General's Message on World Day Against Trafficking In Persons

 

30 July 2015 - Around the world, criminals are selling people for profit.  Vulnerable women and girls form the majority of human trafficking victims, including those driven into degrading sexual exploitation.

Trafficked persons are often tricked into servitude with the false promise of a well-paid job. Migrants crossing deadly seas and burning deserts to escape conflict, poverty and persecution are also at risk of being trafficked.  Individuals can find themselves alone in a foreign land where they have been stripped of their passports, forced into debt and exploited for labour.  Children and young people can find their lives stolen, their education blocked and their dreams dashed. It is an assault on their most basic human rights and fundamental freedoms.


ban-ki-moon.jpg

The Secretary-General's Message on World Youth Skills Day

 

15 July 2015 - I welcome this first-ever commemoration of World Youth Skills Day.  On July 15th each year, the international community will underscore the value of helping young people to upgrade their own abilities to contribute to our common future.

While overall more young people have greater educational opportunities than in the past, there are still some 75 million adolescents who are out of school, denied the quality education they deserve and unable to acquire the skills they need.

We may see an understandably frustrated youth population – but that picture is incomplete.  With the right skills, these young people are exactly the force we need to drive progress across the global agenda and build more inclusive and vibrant societies.


ban-ki-moon.jpg

The Secretary-General's Message on World Population Day


11 July 2015
- Not since the end of the Second World War have so many people been forced from their homes across the planet. With nearly 60 million individuals having fled conflict or disaster, women and adolescent girls are particularly vulnerable.  Violent extremists and armed groups are committing terrible abuses that result in trauma, unintended pregnancy and infection with HIV and other diseases.  Shame and accountability rest squarely on the shoulders of the perpetrators who wage cowardly battles across the bodies of innocents.


ban-ki-moon.jpg

The Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illegal Trafficking

 

26 June 2015 - In September, leaders from around the world will meet at the United Nations to adopt an ambitious new sustainable development agenda to eradicate extreme poverty and provide a life of dignity for all.  This ambition, while achievable, must address various obstacles, including the deadly harm to communities and individuals caused by drug trafficking and drug abuse.

Our shared response to this challenge is founded on the international drug control conventions.  In full compliance with human rights standards and norms, the United Nations advocates a careful re-balancing of the international policy on controlled drugs.  We must consider alternatives to criminalization and incarceration of people who use drugs and focus criminal justice efforts on those involved in supply.  We should increase the focus on public health, prevention, treatment and care, as well as on economic, social and cultural strategies.  


ban-ki-moon.jpg

The Secretary-General’s Message on the International Day of Yoga

 

21 June 2015 - During a visit to India this year, I had the opportunity to practice yoga with one of my senior advisors.  Although he happened to be a son of the country, I might equally have done the same with many other colleagues from different parts of the world.  Yoga is an ancient discipline from a traditional setting that has grown in popularity to be enjoyed by practitioners in every region.  By proclaiming 21 June as the International Day of Yoga, the General Assembly has recognized the holistic benefits of this timeless practice and its inherent compatibility with the principles and values of the United Nations.

Yoga offers a simple, accessible and inclusive means to promote physical and spiritual health and well-being.  It promotes respect for one’s fellow human beings and for the planet we share.  And yoga does not discriminate; to varying degrees, all people can practice, regardless of their relative strength, age or ability.



RSS Email Subscription

Enter your email address: