Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Save the Children and GlaxoSmithKline on Thursday announced a healthcare project in the northern mountain Yên Bái Province, to improve facilities for mothers and newborns among ethnic minorities and reduce mortality rates.
The US$356,000 three-year project, launched at a ceremony in Hà Nội, will focus on increasing community awareness about healthy practices for the care of new mothers and infants, and improve availability, accessibility and utilisation of basic medical services in commune health facilities.
It also aims to improve the functioning of two newborn care units in Nghĩa Lộ General Hospital and Trạm Tấu district hospital as well as establish Kangaroo Mother Care units in district and provincial hospitals.
“In Việt Nam, around 18,000 newborns die every year. This situation is even more serious in remote areas where it is hard to access advanced healthcare services,” said Dragana Strinic, Country Director, Save the Children Việt Nam.
“That’s why the project to save children’s lives in vulnerable communities is a practical way of reducing mortality rates. We want to ensure thate every child coming into the world is safe and heatlthy,” said Strinic.
Lương Kim Đức, the deputy director of Yên Bái’s Health Department, said that mothers and newborns from ethnic minorities are considered the most vulnerable group in the province. Most of these groups have difficulty accessing healthcare services because of factors such as inadequate living conditions, limited transportation, dissatisfying health infrastructure as well as limited knowledge.
“Through the project, we hope the health of mothers and newborns in the province will improve, and that we can reduce the number of deaths. We hope the project is successful and that it can be expanded to other areas in Việt Nam in the future,” said Đức.
Research conducted by Save the Children in 2014 in six communes of Trạm Tấu District in Yên Bái showed that up to 91 per cent of women gave birth at home without skilled attendants.
This was in contrast to a Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) on mother and children situation in the same year, which stated that in the past two years, 93 per cent of births in the nation were attended by skilled health personnel. It was a clear indication that the region was lagging behind in comparison to the progress being made in healthcare nationally. — VNS