|Birth weight disparities continue to exist in mountainous and ethnic minority areas, with more than 76 per cent of babies underweight in the Central Highlands compared with only 6.6 per cent in the north central and central coastal regions.—Illustrative image/ Photo soha
HA NOI (VNS)— Disparities still exist in the well-being of Viet Nam's children and women across region, gender, wealth and ethnicity, according to survey results announced on Thursday.
"These findings show that we still have to address many disparities that affect the health, education and living conditions of Vietnamese children, in particular ethnic minority children," said Nguyen Bich Lam, director of the General Statistics Office (GSO), which carried out the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey during 2013-2014 in close collaboration with various ministries.
Birth weight disparities continue to exist in mountainous and ethnic minority areas, with more than 76 per cent of babies underweight in the Central Highlands compared with only 6.6 per cent in the north central and central coastal regions.
While more than 90 per cent of Vietnamese women delivered their babies with the assistance of skilled birth attendants, only one-third of ethnic minority groups had such care.
Moreover, only 75 per cent of ethnic minority households had access to improved drinking water sources, compared to 95 per cent of Kinh and Hoa households.
Only half the children of upper secondary school age in the Central Highlands were currently attending upper secondary school, lower than the national rate of 71 per cent.
About one in five children aged 5-17 years engaged in child labour. This situation was most prevalent in the northern midlands and mountain areas (36.2 per cent) and the Central Highlands (25 per cent).
"Viet Nam is at an important crossroads for reporting on the final progress of the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 and the announcement of these findings provides a timely opportunity to monitor progress towards national goals and global commitments," said Jesper Moller, Deputy Representative of UNICEF, which provided technical and financial assistance for the survey.
"Addressing poverty and inequities improves the well-being of underprivileged children and promotes inclusive growth across Viet Nam's society." — VNS