A medical center co-funded by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper readers was inaugurated on Thursday on an island part of Vietnam’s Truong Sa (Spratly) archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea.
The center, located on Truong Sa Lon Island in the archipelago, was built using money donated by Tuoi Tre readers, Military Hospital 175, and the Vietnamese Navy.
The daily, Vietnam’s largest in terms of circulation, had since 2014 raised VND22 billion (US$969,000) from its readers who answered the paper’s call for donation to construct the building.
The remaining costs to build the VND30 billion ($1.32 million) hospital were covered by Military Hospital 175 and the Vietnamese Navy.
Despite the heavy rain, Thursday’s opening ceremony of Truong Sa Town Medical Center was attended by hundreds of locals and soldiers stationed on the island.
Having been stationed in Truong Sa for five months, Lieutenant Nguyen Huu Tam said he had never felt more joy and peace of mind than the day he saw the building go into operation.
Now that there was finally a medical center on the, Tam said he no longer had to worry when performing his duty, since trained and dedicated doctors would always be there in case anything should happen.
Officials attend the opening ceremony of Truong Sa Town Medical Center on Truong Sa Lon Island, part of Truong Sa (Spratly) Archipelago in the East Vietnam Sea on May 25, 2017. Photo: Tuoi Tre
For architect Phan Chung Thanh from the Institute of Design under the Ministry of National Defense, which consulted on the center’s design and oversaw its construction, never had he been moved so much to see one of his buildings come into life.
Delivering the opening remarks, Tuoi Tre’s acting editor-in-chief Le The Chu stressed the convergence and diffusion of the newspaper readers’ love, and that of the Vietnamese people as a whole, for their fellow countrymen.
“From now on, military men and civilians on the island will have their health taken care of in the best possible way, and the thousands of fishermen who make their living off Truong Sa Archipelago’s fishing grounds will have a peace of mind to know they the doctors are having their back.”
“The building stands for a noble gesture and encompasses the love of the Vietnamese people for Truong Sa,” said Lieutenant Genral Tran Don, Deputy Minister of National Defense.