Disparities remain in protection of Vietnamese children, women

Vietnam still has a lot to do to improve the well-being of children and woman and achieve its Millennium Development Goals, a new survey has found.

The Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014, has launched in Hanoi, found continuing and glaring disparities in under-five mortality rates amongst vulnerable populations.

With every 1,000 live births, 20 children die before their fifth birthday.

In rural areas, under-five mortality is at 22 per 1,000 live births, while ethnic minority populations have the highest rates at 43 deaths per 1,000 live births, according to the survey carried out by the General Statistics Office with technical and financial support from UNICEF.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, said the survey is a joint contribution to the data revolution.

“It is proven that good, timely and accessible data leads to positive solutions to inequality and sustainable development," he said.

Breastfeed and immunization
MICS 2014 data shows that the percentage of infants under six months of age who are exclusively breastfed has increased from 17% to 24% over the last five years.

Birth weight disparities are most prevalent in the Central Highlands where more than 7% of children are born with low weight under 2,500 grams compared to the 5.7% national average.

In immunization, more than 82% Vietnamese children aged 12-23 months are fully vaccinated.

However, the coverage is higher among Kinh children, 84.6%, compared to ethnic minority children, 69.4%.

Education and child protection

According to the survey, 2% of children are out of school at primary education level across the country, with higher proportions in the Central Highlands and the northern midlands and mountainous area.

In child protection, more than 68% of children aged 1-14 years in Vietnam are subjected to at least one form of psychological or physical punishment, with more male children experiencing more punishment than female ones.

The number of young women age 15-19 years currently married has risen to more than 10% compared 8% in the previous survey. Nearly 30 percent of ethnic minority women aged 15-19 years are married.

Domestic violence, AIDS

The new survey also assessed the attitude of women aged 15-49 years towards domestic violence.

The survey results show that 50% of women feel that a husband is justified in hitting or beating his wife in a number of situations.

In term of HIV/AIDS prevention, more than 56% of women aged 15-49 and half of women aged 15-24 years have insufficient relevant knowledge.

In addition, only 46 percent of women aged 15-49 years are aware of the three ways of mother-to-child transmission - during pregnancy, delivery and through breastfeeding.