VNAH meets with US AID to discuss the conditions of People with Disabilities in Vietnam and the path forward to make change at a Grass Root level.
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) visits the Can Tho Center
This was the beginning of an ongoing history of support by American veterans of the Vietnam War, both formal veterans’ organizations and more informal groups. Another early supporter was the Hanger Orthopedics Group, which donated eight prefabricated artificial limbs, while VNAH purchased several more at a cost of $800 per limb. Despite this generous effort, it was immediately clear that it was far from enough. More than 300 amputees were waiting for limbs when VNAH arrived at the Can Tho Center. In addition, it became clear that prefabricated limbs could not meet the specialized needs of each amputee. More had to be done. DAV donated $30,000 to VNAH, which launched a pilot project to manufacture artificial limbs on-site in Vietnam at the Thu Duc Center just outside of Saigon with available raw materials and supplies. This strategy allowed VNAH to reduce the cost to $25 per limb and custom fit each limb to the amputee. In May, Mr. Tran invited Mr. James Webb (former U.S. Secretary of Navy, and now U.S. Senator) to visit the Can Tho Center. Mr. Webb was greeted by more than 150 amputees, most of whom were disabled veterans of the former Republic of South Vietnam.