May 14, 2021

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The number of stunted Vietnamese children is much less than in Southeast Asian countries

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The rate of stunting in children under 5 years old, according to the Nutrition Census in 2019-2020, is 19.6%, lower than Laos, Indoniesia, Philippines, and Malaysia.

In 2010, the rate of stunting Vietnamese children reached 29.3%. In 1990 the rate was 56.5%. Thus, the number of children with stunting and malnutrition has decreased dramatically in the past 20 years.

The rate of young stunting in Vietnam is less than 20%, ranked at the average level according to the World Health Organization (WHO) classification. Compared to other countries in the region, this rate of Vietnam is much lower, for example Laos about 33%, Indonesia 31%, Philippines 30%, Malaysia 21%.

Rate of underweight malnutrition among children under 5 years old by 2020 is 11.5%. In 1990, the rate was 41%. At that time, the United Nations set the Millennium (MDGs) target for stunting by 2015 at 20%. However, in 2008, this rate decreased to 19.9%. With this result, experts assessed Vietnam to finish 7 years ahead of the MDGs target of the United Nations.

The MDGs set by the United Nations include 8 goals, which the member countries strive to achieve by 2015. Each MDGs has indicators to track progress compared to 1990, directly related to health. .

However, according to the results of the Nutrition Census 2019-2020, there are still disparities between regions in the rate of stunting undernutrition. In particular, in rural and mountainous areas, stunting children remain at a high level.

Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen said that malnutrition still persists, especially in disadvantaged areas where ethnic minorities live. Malnutrition includes maternal and child malnutrition related to food security, household, and lack of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin A, and i-ot.

According to the data, zinc deficiency is still high, especially in high-risk groups such as children and mothers. In children, the rate is 58%, in pregnant women it is 63.5%. This rate is still very high for children in the Northern Uplands (nearly 68%) and the Central Highlands (nearly 67%) and even higher for pregnant women in the Northern Uplands (nearly 82%). and the Central Highlands (nearly 64%). Especially in the city area for the past 5 years (2015-2020), the rate of zinc deficiency in children 6 to 59 months old is high (nearly 50 %%) compared with the standard and almost no improvement.

The prevalence of vitamin A deficiency in children aged 6 to 59 months nationwide dropped to 9.5%. This proportion is highest in the Northern Uplands (nearly 14%) and the Central Highlands (11%). The prevalence of preclinical vitamin A deficiency in children aged 5 to 9 years is 4.9%, at a mild level of public health significance according to WHO assessment.

The program of interventions to take high dose vitamin A capsules for many decades, but the prevalence of preclinical vitamin A deficiency in children 6 to 59 months old has remained at a mild level, decreasing slowly in recent years.

Mr. Tuyen said that the nutritional strategy for this new phase will increase investment in essential nutritional interventions during the 1,000 golden days, including nutrition before, during pregnancy, nutrition for breastfeeding mothers. , breast-feeding and reasonable complementary food.

Thuy Quynh