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Photo exhibition depicts strong relations between Việt Nam and Laos



SƠN LA — The close friendship between Việt Nam and Laos is depicted through a photo exhibition in the northern mountainous province of Sơn La.

Entitled Sắt Son Tình Nghĩa Việt-Lào (The Việt-Lao Eternal Gratitude), the event, which takes place at the special national relic of Sơn La Prison, is an activity to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Laos, and the 45th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between the two countries.  

The exhibition aims to convey to all the party members and people about the special friendship and solidarity between the two neighbouring countries through historical periods. — Photo

More than 100 photos in the exhibition highlight two major topics – ‘Việt Nam Deeply Instills Solidarity’, and ‘The Việt Nam-Laos Revolutionary Historical Site – The Base of the North Lao Volunteer Committee’.

The exhibition has told the historical stories of different periods of time between the two countries, from the establishment of the alliance and diplomatic relations (during 1930-1975) to the solidarity, friendship and cooperation in the cause of national defence and development (during 1976-1986), and the great friendship, special solidarity and comprehensive cooperation over the past 36 years since the renewal in Việt Nam (1986-2022).

The photos also depict the cooperation and assistance of Việt Nam’s Sơn La Province and northern Lao provinces in various fields. Especially, the exhibition presents documents and images of Phiêng Sa Village, where the Northern Lao Volunteer Committee was established. Other images of the Việt Nam-Laos revolutionary historical relic site also are on display.

Director of the Sơn La Provincial Museum Ngô Thị Hải Yến said that the exhibition aims to convey to all the cadres, party members and people about the special friendship and solidarity between the two neighbouring countries through historical periods since Vietnamese President Hồ Chí Minh and Lao President Kaysone Phomvihane laid the foundation.

After that, generations of leaders of the Party, State and people of the two countries have continued to develop the mutual relationship.

Visitors of all ages seen at the Việt-Laos Eternal Gratitude exhibition. — Photo

“The exhibition is also to praise the close relationship between Sơn La Province and the provinces of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic as well as the historical value of the Việt Nam-Laos revolutionary relic site. This is the place witnessing the revolutionary activities of Lao President Kaysone Phomvihane and the Northern Lao Volunteer Committee in the 1948-1951 period in Phiêng Sa Village, now Lao Khô I Village, Phiêng Khoai Commune, Yên Châu District, Sơn La Province.”

Kongmongyang Xaichou, a Lao student at the Sơn La College who visited the exhibition, said: “The exhibition vividly depicts the friendship and solidarity between Việt Nam and Laos. I am living and studying very well in Việt Nam. Here, I can feel the close attachment and the solidarity between the people of the two countries.”

The Việt-Laos Eternal Gratitude exhibition opens to public until the end of September. — VNS


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Điện Biên Phủ prepares for marathon in January



The Điện Biên Phủ Marathon 2024 – Back to Blooming Fortress is scheduled to take place on January 14 in Điện Biên Phủ City, Điện Biên Province. — Photo courtesy of the organiser

HÀ NỘI — The Điện Biên Phủ Marathon 2024 – Back to Blooming Fortress is a marathon event scheduled to take place on January 14 in Điện Biên Phủ City, Điện Biên Province.

With an estimated 1,500 runners participating, the race will offer categories of 5km, 10km, 21km and 42km.

Participants will have the opportunity to run routes through scenic and historically significant areas in and around Điện Biên Phủ City.

The event holds significance as it aims to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Điện Biên Phủ Victory (May 7, 1954 – May 7, 2024) and the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Việt Nam and Japan (September 21, 1973 – September 21, 2023).

If you’re interested in participating in the event, you can register at the following website: VNS


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HCM City, Korean province begin culture-tourism festival



The opening ceremony of the HCM City- Gyeongsangbuk-do Culture and Tourism Festival on Monday. The three-day event features a range of cultural, cuisine, tourism, and music programmes and hopes to promote cultural and tourism co-operation between the city and the province. VNA/VNS Photo

HCM CITY — HCM City and the Republic of Korea (RoK)’s Gyeongsangbuk-do Province are organising a festival featuring a range of cultural, cuisine, tourism, and music programmes.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of the HCM City-Gyeongsangbuk-do Culture and Tourism Festival on Monday, Dương Anh Đức, deputy chairman of the city People’s Committee, said the event would help bolster the image of the province, promote cultural and tourism relations between the two sides and further intensify the comprehensive strategic partnership between Việt Nam and the RoK.

It would shine a light on Korean culture, food and arts for locals, he said.

The HCM City- Gyeongsangbuk-do World Culture Expo that ran in the city for nearly three months in 2017 attracted more than three million visitors, he said.

Lee Cheol Woo, governor of Gyeongsangbuk-do Province, said Việt Nam-Korea relations have seen great progress, and hoped the festival would expand cultural exchanges between the two localities and popularise Korean culture in the city.

Việt Nam is the third biggest trade partner for the RoK and more than 9,000 Korean firms have a presence in Việt Nam.

The event being held at the September 23 Park in the downtown area will run until November 29. —VNS


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Vietnam’s special laparoscopic surgery technique draws foreign patient



Editor’s note: In late November, an Australian patient sought laparoscopic surgery in Vietnam for a common bile duct cyst. 

The procedure was conducted by Assoc. Professor Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of Saint Paul General Hospital in Hanoi, who is among the few doctors specializing in single-hole laparoscopic surgery for choledochal cysts in pediatric patients in Vietnam.

Since 2011, Son has been a trailblazer as the first to perform single-hole laparoscopic surgery for common bile duct cysts in the country. 

Over the years, he has successfully conducted over 300 surgeries using this technique, significantly alleviating pain and facilitating faster recovery for pediatric patients compared to conventional surgical methods.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reporters recently interviewed Son to learn more about the technique.

Could you provide insights into the recent common bile duct cyst surgery conducted at the hospital for a foreign pediatric patient?

In late November, the family of an Australian patient revealed that their child had been unwell since October while residing in Indonesia. 

There, they were informed by a doctor that open surgery could be conducted to remove their daughter’s common bile duct cyst.

Seeking alternative treatments, they discovered the single-hole laparoscopic surgery method for choledochal cysts. 

Fortunately, a doctor in Bali, Indonesia, who had attended an international scientific conference, was familiar with this technique and provided the family with my contact information. 

While initially exploring other options in hospitals in Australia and France, after more than a month, they decided to come to Vietnam for treatment.

The patient underwent a successful surgery using the single-hole laparoscopic method, with only a small scar left next to the navel, ensuring the baby’s esthetic appearance. Remarkably, just three days after the operation, the patient was already playing and showed rapid recovery.

How does this surgical technique offer advantages compared to other methods?

Traditionally, open surgery techniques were prevalent for common bile duct cysts, and many countries still employ this method. 

However, in nations like Japan, the United States, Thailand, and Indonesia, single-hole laparoscopic surgery has become a standard for treating inguinal hernias in children.

In Vietnam, laparoscopic surgery is utilized to minimize trauma and ensure esthetic outcomes. 

Although conventional laparoscopic surgery reduces trauma compared to open procedures, it typically involves making four incisions to place access ports for endoscopic instruments, potentially leaving three to four scars on the abdominal wall. 

In contrast, the single-hole laparoscopic technique involves only one incision through the navel, with surgical instruments inserted and manipulated through this single small incision.

This method offers distinct esthetic advantages, as the patient will have no visible surgical scars since the navel serves as a natural scar that conceals the incision. 

Additionally, recovery time is faster and the success rate of such surgeries is notably high.

Assoc. Professor Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of Saint Paul General Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre

Assoc. Professor Tran Ngoc Son, deputy director of Saint Paul General Hospital in Hanoi. Photo: Duong Lieu / Tuoi Tre

When did you first adopt this surgical technique? And why do you opt for a seemingly more challenging method compared to other techniques?

I first encountered the single-hole laparoscopic surgery technique through the navel announced by a doctor at an international scientific conference in Beijing, China in 2011. 

Recognizing its numerous advantages, I believed it could be successfully implemented in Vietnam.

One notable feature of this technique is its compatibility with standard laparoscopic surgical instruments, eliminating the need for specialized tools.

Upon learning about it in 2011, I introduced this technique to pediatric patients. 

Initially, the surgery duration was extended compared to conventional techniques, which typically take three to four hours for choledochal cyst surgery. 

In my initial single-hole laparoscopic surgeries, the duration was five to six hours. 

However, after approximately 10 surgeries, the duration gradually reduced, eventually matching that of other conventional techniques.

Despite its initial complexity, the technique offers various advantages, particularly in ensuring esthetics for patients, minimizing pain and facilitating faster recovery. 

Motivated by the desire to provide the most effective treatment, I expanded the application of this technique to various surgeries, including inguinal hernia surgery, ovarian cystectomy, appendectomy, lymphatic cyst procedures, and other digestive defects.

Considering the higher incidence of congenital choledochal cysts in Vietnam and some other Southeast Asian countries compared to the global average, the application of this technique holds the potential to benefit a larger number of pediatric patients in the region.

Can this technique be transferred to lower-level hospitals, enhancing their capacity to treat patients?

This technique demands advanced technology and intricate surgical skills. 

Unlike the conventional practice of making four incisions for laparoscopic instruments, this technique involves only one hole, making it more challenging. 

The surgeon must possess advanced technical expertise to execute this method successfully.

An advantage of this approach is that it does not necessitate specialized laparoscopic surgical instruments or utilize other surgical tools.

Consequently, with a genuine commitment to study and enhance surgical techniques, doctors can feasibly explore and refine their proficiency in performing these surgeries.

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