HA NOI — More than 5 million under five-year-old children and 600,000 mothers who have given birth in the last month will be provided with vitamin A capsules and iron capsules to prevent nutrient deficiency on Micro-Nutrient Day today and tomorrow.
|Children in northern Ha Nam Province receiving Vitamin A to prevent deficiency on the occasion of International Children's Day. — VNA/VNS Photo Ninh Duc Phuong
The event will be organised nationwide by the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in efforts to reduce high rate of malnutrition and micro nutrient deficiencies in children. In particular, this work aims to curb the rate of malnutrition still at nearly 30 per cent of children under five.
Head of the institute's Nutrient Department Nguyen Xuan Ninh said that more than 14 per cent of children have suffered vitamin A deficiency and 36 per cent of pregnant women have suffered anaemia, of which up to 67 per cent is caused by iron deficiency.
"Vitamin A deficiency and anaemia are the most prevalent micro nutrient deficiencies in Viet Nam, especially in rural, mountainous areas of northern provinces, the central and Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands) regions," said Ninh.
"Measures for micro-nutrient deficiency prevention focus on providing high dosages of vitamin A to children under the age of five and iron capsule to mothers after giving birth at all localities of the country," said the institute director Le Thi Hop.
During the event, vitamin A capsule will be provided to children in 22 target provinces with malnutrition rates above 30 per cent, according to Hop.
"Communication campaigns would be put forward for strengthening the awareness of the community, especially mothers, of micro-nutrient deficiencies by providing them advice on reasonable nutrition, eating regimes and supplements of iodine, vitamin A and iron," added Hop.
According to the Viet Nam General Nutrition Survey 2009-10, one out of three children under five suffers from malnutrition, causing serious developmental defects, and their underweight rate was 17.5 per cent. About 29.3 per cent of pre-school aged children experience stunted growth in 2010. — VNS