Vietnam makes impressive progress in child care

Vietnam made impressive results in improving health care for children over the past two decades, said international experts.

Addressing the launching ceremony of the State of the World’s Children 2008 report in Hanoi o­n January 25, the United Nations Resident Coordinator John Hendra praised the country’s results in improving the survival rates and health for children, including the sharp reduction of infant and child mortality rates, and the high immunisation rates.

The UN representative said “the country is o­n the track to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG-4) to reduce the under-five mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015”.

Jean-Marc Olive, Chief Representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Vietnam, also expressed his belief that Vietnam will be able to reach the goal as its government has made a strong commitment and been supported by communities.

According to the Health Ministry, Vietnam’s under-five mortality rate has dropped from 42 deaths per o­ne thousand live births to 27 during the 2001-2005 period. Compared with the past decade, the rate was halved and equal to other regional countries.

has maintained a high rate of childhood immunisation at over 95%. The country eradicated polio in 2002, and maternal and neonatal tetanus in 2005. The incidence of measles has plummeted by 95% since 1990.

However, every day has up to 76 children under the age of five reported dead in Vietnam, or an estimated 28,000 children per year.

According to John Hendra, to reduce the child mortality across the country, Vietnam has to make achievements in fulfilling other related MDGs such as reducing poverty, promoting gender equality, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases, and increasing access to water and sanitation.