Symposium discusses child malnutrition treatment

A symposium was held in Hanoi on May 21 to discuss the treatment of acute malnutrition among children as part of the draft revised Law on Health Examination and Treatment.

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Addressing the event, Dr. Huynh Nam Phuong from the National Institute of Nutrition’s Centre for Nutrition and Food Training Centre said the rate of acute malnutrition in Vietnam nears 6-7% at present. Each year, there are 700,000 cases of acute malnutrition, about 230,000 are severe.

Deputy head of the Health Ministry’s Department of Legal Affairs Dinh Thi Thu Thuy suggested that the State should take synchronous measures in terms of economy, environment hygiene, clean water supply, food security, health care and education in order to address the issue, preventing it from becoming a burden on the society.

She proposed that the examination and treatment of malnutrition among children should be institutionalised in the Law on Health Examination and Treatment, ensuring the rights and interests of children in health care.

Prof. Hoang Van Minh, Vice Rector of the Hanoi University of Public Health, suggested that health insurance should cover severe acute malnutrition treatment for children of 6-59 months old, with priority given to ethnic minority and high-risk areas.

The National Assembly’s Council for Ethnic Affairs reported that the prevalence of undernutrition among ethnic minorities mainly exists in the Central Highlands, North Central region and northern mountainous region.

One in every three Vietnamese children under the age of five is either malnourished or overweight as a result of poor diets and a food system that is failing them, according to the UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children 2019 report.

VNA