An estimated one million Vietnamese, more than one per cent of the population, suffer disabilities linked to Agent Orange, the defoliant/herbicide that the Americans sprayed over the forests and fields of central and south Vietnam to rob the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese Army of cover, particularly around allied bases.
Innocent victims of Agent Orange
Of those one million people, hundreds of thousands are children with genetic deformities, the innocent victims of a war fought long before they were born.
Scientists link those deformities with the poison dioxin (TCDD) in the spray. These people are permanently disabled and will never lead a normal life.
The problems for each affected family are compound.
In rural Vietnam, parents want an able-bodied child to help them in their fields and to eventually take over when they are no longer able to provide for their family. When they constantly give birth to children with disabilities, they keep trying for a child who will not be affected. These people need help.