The Vietnam Red Cross recorded over 4.8 million deaths and 400,000 children born with birth defects due to exposure to Agent Orange

In 2015, Facing the World and Da Nang General Hospital co-hosted an international craniofacial conference. The success of our partnership has opened the door to further initiatives, and we are delighted to be working with the Vietnamese authorities to establish three more craniofacial centres in Vietnam by 2021: one in collaboration with Cho Ray Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City; and two others in Hanoi, with Viet Duc University Hospital and with Hong Ngoc Hospital. In 2016, we co-hosted a second craniofacial conference with Viet Duc University Hospital. As with Da Nang, we will be sending surgical teams to these hospitals each year.

As well as providing training within Vietnam, Facing the World also affords the Vietnamese doctors the opportunity of participating in our Fellowship scheme, which we offer in London in conjunction with the top hospitals in the UK. Read more

Finally, in our overall mission to achieve a sustainable craniofacial facility in Vietnam a key element is the provision of vital equipment. In conjunction with the doctors in Vietnam, our team has established a list of what is needed in order for effective craniofacial units to be set up. Donations of equipment are made either by Facing the World or by the companies that produce it. Read more.

Vietnam has the highest incidence of birth defects in the world, and this is the result of the use, during the Vietnam War, of Agent Orange – a defoliant containing a dioxin which has caused an irreversible genetic mutation. The incidence of facial differences is estimated to be 10 times higher than in neighbouring countries, and the rate of birth defects is not decreasing, so Vietnam has had a pressing need to develop skills and infrastructure in the multidisciplinary field of craniofacial surgery.

In 2008 we initiated a partnership with Da Nang Hospital in Vietnam, and since then we have sent a surgical mission every year to train and operate jointly with the local surgeons and to advise and help on infrastructure and equipment. Local surgeons and medical staff are taught specialised craniofacial techniques in theatre, through lectures and in clinic. Now over 100 patients are seen in Da Nang each year.

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