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Health

Chemical legacy

Photographer David Verberckt tells the story of victims of Agent Orange chemical spraying, struggling through generations with the consequences long after the war has ended.

This story contains graphic content and viewers discretion is advised.

During a period of 10 years, between 1961 and 1971, the US military sprayed about 80 million liters of toxin containing chemical defoliant of which more than 60% were dioxin rich Agent Orange. Over 3 million hectares and over 25,000 villages were sprayed, sometimes as many as 10 times, destroying every form of vegetal and human life on its path.

It is estimated that 4.8 million Vietnamese have been exposed to dioxin, including 3 million Agent Orange victims. In addition to direct victims, second, third and even fourth generation of children suffer from effects of these toxins.

The Vietnam war has ended more than forty years ago, but the country remains blighted by toxins which are not only harmful to the environment but also seriously affect human public health, causing many dangerous diseases with heredity factors. These diseases have made people sick, disabled, suffer from interminable pain and severe psychological problems.

Tens of thousands of people have died due to incurable diseases. Many women have experienced reproductive problems with the most disastrous consequence that their children also become Agent Orange victims, born with malformations and mental problems. They can not lead a normal life, can not work, need constant care and are among the poorest of the poorest coming from remote rural areas that were the main targets of intensive spraying.


David Verberckt

For the past fifteen years, the Vietnam Association For Victims Of Agent Orange/Dioxin (VAVA), a specialized civil society organization, has been relentlessly involved in representing the interests of the victims with main focus on much needed health care and education through a country-wide network of health and educational professionals from provincial and district level to the communal level.

Despite a long passed war, the chemical legacy will unfortunately continue to affect generations to come.

These images have helped link associations for victims of chemical agents and weapons in Vietnam and Iraqi Kurdistan for further cooperation.

Now it's your turn, keep the generosity wheel rolling

Please consider making a one-off or recurring donation to

VAVA - Vietnam Association For Victims Of Agent Orange/Dioxin

using the form below.

This story does not end here. Helping the

victims of chemical agents and weapons worldwide

will require your action too.

After sharing this story and helping spread awareness about their plight, you can:

-You can support VAVA today by visiting their website and donating http://vava.org.vn/

-If you live in America you can write to your congress person demanding more government support to organizations in Vietnam working to care for victims.

This story was brought to you thanks to the good people at

Fairshots

and their commitment to

use photography as a catalyst for positive change.

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