|The Ministry of Health is carrying on a campaign to encourage parents to ensure a sufficient amount of vitamin A for their children to prevent eyesight and growth problems. — Photo nutrition.org.vn
HCM CITY (VNS) — Children aged six months to 3 years were given liquid vitamin-A drops on Monday at their respective health clinics in communes and wards as part of a national campaign that ended yesterday.
The campaign, carried out by the Ministry of Health on the occasion of National Micronutrient Day, encouraged parents to ensure a sufficient amount of vitamin A for their children to prevent eyesight and growth problems.
Le Bach Mai, deputy head of Viet Nam Nutrition Institute, said Viet Nam was one of 19 countries with a vitamin A deficiency.
Dr Do Thi Ngoc Diep, head of the HCM City's Nutrition Centre, told HTV9 Channel that the vitamin is necessary for good vision.
Mothers with infants under one month old were also given vitamin A.
Besides vitamin A, children between 6 months and 60 months old in disadvantaged provinces were given medicine for worm treatment.
The Ministry of Health has provided more than 6.7 million capsules of vitamin A and more than one million tablets for worm treatment to provinces and cities for children in this age group.
In HCM City, 350,000 children and 100,000 mothers with infants under one month old received free vitamin A at their local healthcare clinics.
Diep said that vitamin A liquid drops were given to babies under 6 months old who were not breastfed and those who often had digestive or respiratory ailments.
Besides its importance for vision, she said the vitamin played an important role in children's growth and immune system.
The number of stunted children in Viet Nam remains high, with at least 25 per cent under 5 years of age last year. At least 14.5 per cent of children under 5 were underweight, according to Mai of the Nutrition Institute.
The Ministry of Health is petitioning the Government to issue regulations to force food manufacturers to add micronutrients to food such as fish sauce and soy sauce. — VNS