Friday, July 5, 2013

Children of Vietnam Veterans Bring Healthcare Issues to Forefront
Agent Orange Institute of Medicine Official COVVHA Testimony

(IRVINE, CA) - There is a renewed push for the Institute of Medicine to take seriously the claims made by the Children of Vietnam Veterans and their families about the birth defects and illnesses they are suffering from. The adverse affects of the dioxin laden herbicide sprayed over the jungles of Vietnam, AKA Agent Orange, have been well known since the government first admitted in 1991 to cause illnesses in Vietnam Veterans. For years, the veterans and their families have been saying birth defects and rare illnesses have affected their children’s health. These anomalies and illnesses are not only happening in the children of Vietnam Veterans (2nd generation), but now are showing up in alarming numbers in the grandchildren (3rd Generation) of Vietnam Veterans as well.
On January 16, 2013, (COVVHA) Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance INC. participated, in the public hearings for the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) Committee to Review on the Health Effects in Vietnam Veterans Exposure to Herbicides (Ninth Biennial Update) in Irvine, California. Tanya Mack, COVVHA Core Chairperson, and California resident, gave testimony on behalf of COVVHA to the committee. Tanya Mack is the Daughter of a recently, deceased Vietnam Veteran who succumbed service connected Agent Orange illnesses. She was born with severe hip dysplasia and has developed several rare aggressive cancers in her thirties which she is currently still fighting.
“The Institute of Medicine is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public (From the IOM website).” They have been commissioned to review biannually, the most current data available about herbicides and the health effects on our Veterans. In the past, the IOM have been responsible for getting new illnesses added to the presumptive list for our ailing Vietnam Veterans. Like On October 13, 2009, when, the Veterans Affairs added three new medical conditions for Vietnam Veterans presumptively associated with exposure to herbicides; hairy cell and other B-cell leukemia’s, Parkinson’s disease, and ischemic heart disease, to the list of covered illnesses.

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