|Children at kindgarten No. 5 in HCM City's District 3 wash hands with soap before meals. About 13 per cent of deaths among children under five in Viet Nam are caused by diarrhoea. — VNA/VNS Photo Phuong Vy.
HA NOI (VNS) — A conference in Ha Noi yesterday was told that 13 per cent of deaths among children under five in Viet Nam are caused by diarrhoea.
The World Health Organisation was quoted as saying that diarrhoeal disease was the second leading cause of death among under-five children in Viet Nam and claimed 760,000 lives throughout the world every year. It added that the disease was both preventable and treatable.
The conference was part of a project called Childhood Diarrhoeal Disease in Viet Nam aimed at reducing the mortality rate in poor and remote areas.
The project has completed initial studies in the northern provinces of Dien Bien and Thai Binh, and the Mekong delta province of Ca Mau.
One of its reports indicated that the number of cases in Dien Bien was three times the national average, while in Thai Binh it was five times higher.
Major cause for severe cases was reported to be the Rotavirus, which was responsible for more than 50 per cent of children sent to hospital.
The project said that children in remote and poor areas were still experiencing difficulties in access to health services and recommended that the Ministry of Health take measures to prevent and control the disease.
Recommendations included introducing Rota-virus vaccine as a part of the nation's expanded immun-isation programme, training public health workers to treat the disease and supplying medical facilities with medicine.
The project also urged communities to take part in measures to prevent and control the disease by ensuring children had a nutritious diet, clean water and sanitary environment.
Doctor Nguyen Huy Du, an expert on maternal and child health with the United Nations' Children's Fund (UNICEF) Viet Nam said the fight against diarrhoeal disease required a multi-ministry, multi-department and community-drive approach. — VNS