A Singaporean septuagenarian has given his all, including huge financial support, to help mitigate the lingering effects of Agent Orange (AO)/dioxin on Vietnamese victims.
Harold Chan, 73, has been in the central city of Da Nang since late November visiting AO-affected families.
Late last month he donated a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scanner worth US$1.5 million to Da Nang Hospital in order to facilitate diagnosis and improve the health of victims of the toxic chemical.
The equipment has been put into operation at the hospital to benefit Agent Orange/dioxin victims as well as poor people in the city.
Chan has also decided to sponsor an annual fund worth VND720 million (US$32,000) in support of the victims.
The sums are taken from the elderly man’s lifelong savings.
He has also worked with the hospital’s doctors regarding how to operate the scanner and provide treatment for the first batch of patients.
Chan revealed that six months ago, he happened to see stark images of Vietnamese AO sufferers on television against the hustle and bustle of their modern-day country.
“I’ve been to many countries, including the U.S. and European nations. Never have I witnessed such appalling images. I was unspeakably shocked,” he said.
The distorted faces and serious disabilities of AO children lingered in his mind for days and spurred him to travel to the S-shaped country.
Chan carried out his own search for information and immediately decided to come to Da Nang, one of the Vietnamese localities where AO abnormalities remain pervasive.
He visited the Da Nang Association of Victims of Agent Orange in April, introducing himself as a tourist.
He was then introduced to Nguyen Thi Hien, the society’s chair, who initially did not expect the haggard-looking, small-built man to be such a generous philanthropist.