Friday, 14 Dec 2018
HEALTH & EDUCATION

Vietnam to responds to Micronutrient Day

Updated at Monday, 21 May 2018, 17:10
The Hanoitimes - A campaign has been recently launched in the Red River Delta provinces of Vietnam in response to Micronutrient Day (June 1 and 2).
Children between six and 36 months of age and new mothers will get free vitamin A supplements in a campaign on the occasion of Micronutrient Day.
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) said it has distributed around 7.6 million doses of vitamin A capsules to serve nearly five million children and 500,000 new mothers.
 
Under-5 children get free vitamin A capsules during the Micronutrient Day
Under-5 children get free vitamin A capsules during the Micronutrient Day
In addition, vitamin A capsules will also be given to 1.1 million children who are between 37 and 60 months old; while children from 24 to 60 months in 22 provinces and cities that have a high rate of stunted growth among children will be dewormed.
Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said over the years, that the country and health sector in particular have paid attention to protecting and caring for people’s health, including prevention of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency, especially for women and children.
Thus, the country has reaped significant achievements, as the rate of malnutrition in under-five children dropped to 13.8 percent in 2016. Vietnam has erased blindness due vitamin A deficiency and people’s awareness about micronutrient has been improved, Long added.
To tackle remaining challenges, he instructed People’s Committees of all provinces and centrally-run cities to effectively implement campaigns providing vitamin A supplements and treatment of helminth infection, ensuring that 98 percent of children receive the supplements during the campaign.
Communication campaigns should also be enhanced to encourage families to join concerted efforts in preventing malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency as well as ensuring food security, said the official.
According to Director of the National Institute of Nutrition Le Danh Tuyen, nearly 1 million under-five children have seen improvements in vitamin A deficiency each year thanks to the biannual provision of vitamin A supplements for children between 6 and 36 months old nationwide and for those between 37 and 60 months old in 22 disadvantaged provinces. 
The provision of vitamin A for children and post-partum mothers has become an annual activity in more than 11,000 communes across the country.
This year, more than 6 million children under five years old will receive vitamin A capsules. In addition, millions of children between 24-60 months of age in disadvantaged localities will be dewormed.
People should incorporate a variety of food sources in their daily meals, especially food rich in micronutrients. New mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their newborns within the first one hour of birth, and give their babies no food or drink other than breast milk for the first six months.
Micronutrient deficiency is a persistent health problem in Việt Nam, and requires proper attention and more investment from the Government.
On Micronutrient Day, dissemination and educational activities will be held nationwide to raise public awareness about good nutrition and promote food hygiene and safety.
Tuan Minh
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