Child malnutrition rate falls significantly

(VOV) -The malnutrition rate among Vietnamese children under five years old has been reduced from 33% last year to 26.7% at present, according to the National Institute of Nutrition.

The figures were released at a press briefing in Hanoi on May 24 to launch 2013 Micronutrient Day to improve public health.

Head of the Nutrition Institute, Professor Le Thi Hop, said 90% of Vietnamese children between 6-36 months old are now provided with Vitamin A annually, which has resulted in zero fatalities due to Vitamin A deficiency.

However, she said, many children are still either under or over weight as a result of the lack of basic vitamins.

Deputy Head of the Nutrition Institute Le Danh Tuyen said Vietnamese children under five often suffer from deficiencies of Vitamin A, iron and iodine, most of them living in the northern, central and Central Highland regions.

If local children receive an adequate supply of Vitamin A, Vietnam can reduce the rate of fatalities and blindness in children under five by 23% and 70%, respectively, Tuyen said.

The Government has approved a national nutrition strategy aimed at reducing child malnutrition in the 2011-2020 period. The strategy aims to lower the rate of malnutrition among children under five to less than 10% by 2015 and 8% by 2020.