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Locals launch project to help patients in Vietnam

TAIPEI -- Several Taiwanese organizations have launched a program to allow free treatment of 150 Vietnamese patients with cleft lips or cleft palates at a hospital in their home country, the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation, which is leading the effort, said Saturday in Taipei.

The patients will receive reconstructive surgery at Odonto Maxillo Facial Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City and the costs will be met under the financial program, a spokesman for the foundation said.

In addition, an education foundation in Taiwan and the hospital will assemble a professional medical team to provide long-term care to impoverished patients in the city with oral birth defects, according to Chris Wang, an entertainer who serves as the spokesman for the program.

Wang, who traveled to Vietnam on April 15 to promote the program, said that he has seen children from remote areas going to the hospital to seek medical assistance.

He said he hopes the program will not only provide surgical intervention for Vietnamese patients but will also offer an opportunity for Vietnamese doctors to learn from Taiwanese specialists.

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