Vietnam in “top 20” in child malnutrition

Thu, Feb 19, 2009. More than 32.6 per cent of children in Vietnam are malnourished, stunted and underweight, making the country one of the world’s 20 worst performers in child nutrition, a report states.

Malnutrition in children is most common in Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), Northwestern area and the northern part of the central area, the Ministry of Health’s National Institute of Nutrition reported.

National Institute of Nutrition director Nguyen Cong Khan said Vietnam had made fast and sustainable progress in reducing the malnutrition rate in recent years.

He said reducing the growth-stunting rate to under 10 per cent within 15-20 years was possible. In the short term, it was hoped that Vietnam could reduce the underweight rate to under 15 per cent by 2015.

A target was to reduce underweight by 1.1 per cent and stunting by 1.3 per cent, Son said.

The ministry planned to keep strengthening public communication and education and the care of pregnant women. Nutrition recovery activities and supplement nutrition for pregnant women would also be included.

Other plans included providing vitamin A for children from six months old to five years old and worming for children aged two to five who were living in targeted communes.

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