Experts warn people to supply micronutrients

Update: June, 01/2016 - 18:00
A medical worker gives vitamin A for a child in Hà Nội. Experts warn that the deficiency of important micronutrients can lead to serious consequences. – Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – The shortage of micronutrients in Việt Nam has decreased, but the rate of decrease is slow, experts from the Institute of Nutrition under the Ministry of Health said.

The shortage has affected the health of children, pregnant women and women of childbearing ages.

A study by the institute in 2014-15 revealed that the country had some 7.5 million children under five, of which one third had anaemia and two third had a deficiency of iron.

Trần Khánh Vân, an expert from the institute, said their meals did not supply enough micronutrients. Meat contained the required micronutrients, but poor people in the remote mountainous and rural areas could not afford it.

Trần Thúy Nga, another expert from the institute, said the deficiency of important micronutrients, such as iodine, vitamin A, iron and zinc, could lead to serious consequences. The shortage could cause blindness, brain seizures, nervous system malformations and decrease people’s working capacity.

Associate professor Lê Bạch Mai, deputy director of the institute, said, “Increasing micronutrients is a long-term goal to raise working capacity, develop people’s intelligence, height and health, and thereby improve the quality of life.”

The most important task was to supplement micronutrients to people facing the highest risks due to the shortage by improving the quality of their lives and diversifying their food, she said.

The food that contained these essential micronutrients are salt, wheat flour and vegetable oil.

Children under five need to drink a vitamin A tonic twice a year.

The institute has supplied more than six million vitamin A tablets to children aged between six months and three years across the country.

A nationwide drive to supply vitamin A tonic has been organised today and tomorrow. -- VNS