Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Children between six and 36 months of age and new mothers will get free vitamin A supplements in a campaign on the occasion of Micronutrient Day (June 1 and 2).
The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) said it has distributed around 7.6 million doses of vitamin A capsules to serve nearly five million children and 500,000 new mothers.
In addition, vitamin A capsules will also be given to 1.1 million children who are between 37 and 60 months old; while children from 24 to 60 months in 22 provinces and cities that have a high rate of stunted growth among children will be dewormed.
Speaking at a press conference in Hà Nội on Monday, NIN deputy director Trương Tuyết Mai said that preventing micronutrient deficiencies is one of the six important goals of the National Strategy on Nutrition for the period 2011-20.
“Providing micronutrient supplements to high-risk groups such as children and new mothers is a fast and timely measure to handle the situation of micronutrient deficiency,” Mai said.
In addition, medium-term measures such as adding micronutrient supplements to essential foods, and long-term, sustainable measures such as adding diverse food products to daily meals are being taken to solve the problem of micronutrient deficiency in Việt Nam, Mai said. “Adding micronutrient supplements to essential foods is a simple, effective way of improving daily meals, health, and quality of life.”
Communication and education will strengthen awareness about nutrition and nutritional requirements, and encourage good eating practices among people, Mai said.
People should incorporate a variety of food sources in their daily meals, especially food rich in micronutrients. New mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their newborns within the first one hour of birth, and give their babies no food or drink other than breast milk for the first six months.
Micronutrient deficiency is a persistent health problem in Việt Nam, and requires proper attention and more investment from the Government.
On Micronutrient Day, dissemination and educational activities will be held nationwide to raise public awareness about good nutrition and promote food hygiene and safety.
A 2015 NIN survey revealed that 13 per cent of the children in the country have vitamin A deficiency, and 32.8 per cent of pregnant women are anaemic. Its statistics show that the country’s malnutrition rate is 14.1 per cent of children under the age of five, and 24.6 per cent of children have stunted growth. — VNS