Reducing child mortality rates a top priority

Each locality should prioritise its investment in ethnic and poorer regions to protect the lives of children, said an official of the Ministry of Public Health.


At a workshop o­n implementing an action plan for improving children’s lives in Ho Chi Minh City o­n September 22, Head of the Ministry’s Mother and Child Health Protection Department Nguyen Duy Khe said the mortality rate of children in mountainous and remote provinces and poor families is three to four times higher than that of wealthy families.

He emphasised the need for each locality to conduct surveys and have its own action plan to protect children’s lives, with a national programme target of reducing the mortality rate of children under five to below 18% and that of newborn babies to less than 10%.

A special focus should be put o­n reducing the mortality rate of newborn babies, which represents around 70% of all child mortality, said Dinh Thi Phuong Hoa from the Public Health University.

The mortality rate of newborns can be reduced from 6-42% with timely emergency treatment and 55-87% for early breastfed cases, she said.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said around 28,000 children die under the age of five, including 16,000 newborns die in Vietnam each year.