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NEWS UPDATES 15 May 2010

Vietnamese minister calls for development of stem-cell research

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Vietnam should set up a national strategy on stem cell research for the period 2010-20 to take advantage of the latest medical developments, VietNamNet Bridge quoted Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, deputy minister of health, as saying.

Tien was speaking at an international workshop entitled "Stem Cell Research and Application in Medicine" organised by the National Institute of Haematology and Blood Transfusion yesterday.

"Achievements in stem cell research and application in Vietnam are still modest due to a lack of financial investment and strategic orientation," Tien said.

The two-day event reviewed the status of stem cell research in Vietnam, in addition to looking at the latest international developments in this field. Participants also discussed national and ministerial research and projects on stem cell research.

The workshop was a chance for local and international scientists and health experts to exchange information on stem cell research in haematology, the cardiovascular system, tissue production, embryos and ophthalmology.

Vietnam began research on stem cell therapy in the 1990s. It mainly looked into transplanting stem cells for creating blood to treat haematological diseases. Later, two stem cell banks were set up in HCM City.

To date, ten national stem cell research projects have been conducted on treating blood and bone diseases and burns.

There are 13,000 health care units and more than 200,000 hospital beds in the country, which has a population of 86 million.


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