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AT&T NZ to Fund Ambulance Equipment in Vietnam

AT&T New Zealand to Fund Ambulance Equipment in Vietnam

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AT&T’s Roger Payne (at left) hands over a cheque for US$10,000 to Dr. David Morris of the New Zealand Viet Nam Health Trust to fund the fitting-out of ambulances in Vietnam with vital first-aid equipment.

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, Oct. 16, 2006 — The New Zealand operation of leading global telecommunications provider AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) has donated US$10,000 to fund the fitting-out of two new ambulances in the central Vietnam province of Binh Dinh, providing it with vital first-aid equipment.

The AT&T grant will be presented to the New Zealand Viet Nam Health Trust (NZVNHT), a voluntary organisation formed by New Zealand medical personnel who worked in Binh Dinh province from 1964 to 1975 with the New Zealand Surgical Team.

NZVNHT trustee Dr. David Morris says that Binh Dinh is a poor province in need of aid.

“We are extremely grateful to AT&T for this grant, which will enable an ambulance service to be initiated and two ambulances fully equipped with emergency and resuscitation equipment. Local staff will receive advanced first-aid training through a New Zealand Volunteer Service Abroad member in Binh Dinh”, said Dr. Morris.

Roger Payne, general manager of AT&T New Zealand, said the grant would complement AT&T’s planned expansion into Vietnam, supporting rapid investment there by overseas businesses.

“We try to provide assistance to initiatives that help people who are less fortunate than ourselves get ahead. By contributing to the development of vital infrastructure, such as communications networks and emergency services, AT&T is assisting developing countries, like Vietnam, to keep pace with the rest of the world.

“In this case, there is also a strong historical link between NZVNHT and Binh Dinh province, and we are delighted to be able to assist in providing funding for equipment that will help save lives”, Mr Payne said.

Mr. Payne said AT&T is also an active supporter of the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation in Vietnam. Once fitted with the first-aid equipment, the ambulances will be officially presented by NZVNHT and AT&T executives to the Binh Dinh Department of Health and a representative of the Binh Dinh Peoples’ Committee at a ceremony, which will be held in November in Quy Nhon.

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The New Zealand Viet Nam Health Trust (NZVNHT) was formed in 1996 following the 20th anniversary reunion of New Zealand medical personnel who worked in Quy Nhon in the central Vietnam province of Binh Dinh between 1964 and 1975. In New Zealand, NZVNHT works closely with NZAID, the targeted aid programme run by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

On the ground, NZVNHT works through the Binh Dinh Department of Health and Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) to provide assistance to local people through training programmes focusing on pediatrics, midwifery and nurse tutoring, surgery and laboratory quality control.

The work of New Zealanders in the Binh Dinh province during the war period left a huge legacy of good will toward New Zealand amongst the local people. For this reason, recent development aid to Vietnam has been channeled into the Binh Dinh province through VSA and, more recently, through NZAID.

The two ambulances will be based in Quy Nhon, the capital of Binh Dinh and home to more than 2 million people. The ambulances will be used for transport in the many cases of maternity and neonatal emergencies from the countryside to the local base hospital. Vietnam also has one of the highest rates of injury and death from road traffic accidents in South East Asia. Many victims die from relatively minor injuries; these deaths could be prevented with quick first aid provided by emergency services, such as ambulances.


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