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VietNamNews

Immunisation does save lives

Update: September, 05/2015 - 07:51
A medical staff gives advices on how to use drugs to Mong ethnic women at Lung Tao Commune, Dong Van District of northernmost Ha Giang Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Tung

HA NOI (VNS) — Most Vietnamese children aged 12-23 months were fully vaccinated before their first birthday, experts told a workshop held by Viet Nam's Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS2014) yesterday.

MICS, the world's largest source of statistical data on the well-being of women and children worldwide, indicated that while more than 82 per cent of Vietnamese children aged 12-23 months were fully vaccinated, the coverage was higher among Kinh (the Vietnamese majority) children at 84.6 per cent compared to ethnic minority children at 69.4 per cent.

Poor households possessed the lowest coverage at 72.2 per cent, compared to 87 per cent coverage in households of other wealth categories.

Experts noted that immun-isation played a key role in the country achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce child mortality by two-thirds by 2015.

The report also indicated disparities in the death rate for children-under-five. While it remained relatively low in cities and rural areas at 20-22 per 1,000 births, the mortality rate was high among ethnic minority populations at 43 deaths per 1,000 births.

Viet Nam has made significant progresses in providing the population with improved drinking water sources and sanitation.

Ninety eight per cent of the urban population and 89 per cent of the rural population now have access to safe drinking water and 79 per cent of households use improved sanitation facilities.

However, MICS also reported only 75 per cent of ethnic minority households had access to improved drinking water sources and only 73.3 per cent of rural households had sanitation facilities. The situation was particularly dire among ethnic minority groups where only 47 per cent had access to sanitation facilities.

Data from MICS 2014 indicated that nearly 94 per cent of Vietnamese women went through labour with the assistance of skilled birth attendants. However, the figure dropped to around 75 per cent for women from ethnic minorities. They were also reported to be likely to give births at a younger age 15-19.

In child education, the country has made significant strides. Ninety eight per cent of children of age attended primary schools. The figure was only slightly lower in the Central Highlands and mountainous provinces at 95.5 per cent.

MICS are organised by the General Statistic Office of Viet Nam and UNICEF to provide data on the progress of Viet Nam's development goals. — VNS

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