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Hundreds of fetuses found by garbage plant operator in southern Vietnam

Thursday, April 25, 2019, 09:47 GMT+7
Hundreds of fetuses found by garbage plant operator in southern Vietnam
The Ca Mau Garbage Treatment Plant in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. Photo: N. Hung / Tuoi Tre

The operator of a garbage treatment plant in the Mekong Delta province of Ca Mau has recovered hundreds of dead fetuses from their garbage intake over the course of seven years, a plant leader told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Wednesday.

To Hoai Dan, general director of Cong Ly Ltd., which owns and operates the Ca Mau Garbage Treatment Plant, said they have found over 300 dead fetuses from the their daily volume of garbage since 2012.

“Whenever we find a fetus, we have them cleaned and buried inside the factory campus,” said Nguyen Hoang Tham, director of the garbage treatment plant.

“Every month, we invite Buddhist monks to come and pray for these fetuses,” Tham said.

However, the plant is running out of space for burial while it does not have enough funds to have the fetuses cremated, he added.

Therefore, it has submitted a formal report to the provincial administration on the issue, asking for support.

A worker gestures at offerings placed on top of a grave for fetuses found at the Ca Mau Garbage Treatment Plant in Ca Mau Province, Vietnam. Photo: N. Hung / Tuoi Tre

A worker points at offerings placed on top of a grave for fetuses found at the Ca Mau Garbage Treatment Plant in Ca Mau Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: N. Hung / Tuoi Tre

“We are seeking a comprehensive solution to prevent [fetus dumping] in the future,” Dan said.

In response, the provincial chairman has asked local hospitals to tighten control over medical waste and put a stop to stillborn babies ending up in dumpsters.

“Oftentimes, stillborn babies [at our hospital] would be handed over to their parents after birth for funeral services,” said Vo Thanh Loi, director of the Ca Mau Hospital for Obstetrics and Pediatrics.

“For fetuses removed via abortion, cremation is our go-to method of laying the unborn babies to rest,” Loi said.

Nguyen Van Dung, acting director of Ca Mau’s Department of Health, said it would be impossible for fetuses from a hospital to end up in a dumpster.

“Nobody dumps a fetus like garbage,” Dung claimed.

“In addition, we don’t allow abortion late in the pregnancy, and private hospitals are not permitted to perform the procedure at all."

Vietnam bans abortion of fetuses from six weeks old, although illegal services are rampant across the country, according to the official Vietnam News Agency.

A 2016 survey conducted by Vietnam’s General Statistics Office revealed that 70 percent of the country’s illegal abortions involved teenagers aged 13 to 19.

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