Second vitamin A supplementation campaign to kick start in early December
Deputy Director of the National Institute of Nutrition Truong Tuyet Mai said Vietnam has achieved significant achievements in improving the nutritional conditions of its people, especially the rate of child malnutrition which has decreased rapidly and sustainably.
|The second campaign in 2023 to give free vitamin A supplements to children from 6-35 months nationwide will take place from December 1, heard a meeting on November 28.
According to annual nutrition surveillance data, the rate of underweight malnutrition among children decreased from 33.8 per cent in 2000 to 14.1 per cent in 2015 and only 11.6 per cent in 2020.
Vietnam has also eradicated blindness due to vitamin A deficiency. Meanwhile, public awareness of nutrition and the nutritional knowledge and practices of people have improved.
However, the rate of malnutrition and stunting in children under 5 years old remains high, at 19.6 per cent in 2020, and there are disparities among regions. The rate of overweight and obesity in school-age children (5 - 19 years old) increased from 8.5 per cent in 2010 to 19.0 per cent in 2020.
Moreover, the rates of micronutrient deficiencies among women and children are still alarming, with under-five children and women suffering from nutrition anaemia accounting for 19.6 per cent and 25.6 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, 9.5 per cent of under-five children suffer from vitamin A deficiency and the rate of zinc deficiency in children is 58 per cent, according to the 2019-2020 national nutrition survey.
Dr Vu Van Tan from the National Institute of Nutrition said that Vitamin A supplementation is essential for the health and comprehensive development of children.
According to Tan, through two annual campaigns to provide vitamin A supplements for children from 6-59 months nationwide, the rate of children receiving vitamin A regularly is maintained at over 98 per cent (equivalent to more than 6 million children). High-dose vitamin A supplementation for children has become an annual activity in more than 11,000 communes and wards nationwide.
All localities nationwide implemented the first campaign this year as planned, giving vitamin A supplements to 2,747,349 children from 6-35 months, and 2,265,727 children from 6-59 months, equivalent to 99.0 per cent, and 99.1 per cent of the total, respectively.
As many as 653,134 children without permanent residence and those at high risk of vitamin A deficiency also received vitamin A supplements in this campaign.