WORLD HEALTH DAY – MAKE EVERY MOTHER AND CHILD COUNT
Hanoi, 7 April 2005 – “Make every mother and child count” - the slogan of World Health Day this year emphasizes the need to promote the health of mothers and their children world wide.
The maternal mortality rate in Viet Nam is 165 per 100,000 live births (2001) and under-five child mortality rate is 39 per 100,000 live births. On average, 7 women die from pregnancy and child birth every day and 82 newborns die prematurely. The death rates vary considerably in different parts of the country. The highest rates occur in the mountainous regions and among ethnic minority populations. The maternal mortality rate is almost ten times higher in Cao Bang province than that in Binh Duong province (411/100,000 vs. 45/100,000). The infant mortality rates are generally higher for ethnic minorities than for the Kinh majority. For example, the Gia-rai have 69 deaths per 100,000 live births, more than double the national average.
UNICEF has a thirty year history of successful collaboration with the Government of Viet Nam in addressing maternal and child health issues. Areas receiving UNICEF assistance include disease control initiatives such as the elimination of maternal and neonatal tetanus, control of measles, reduction of vitamin A, iron and iodine deficiencies, innovative interventions aimed at combating maternal and child malnutrition and the prevention of HIV from mother to child.
In its work in the health sector, UNICEF promotes national leadership, equity and sustainability and enhances collaboration with development partners, especially WHO, UNFPA and UNDP.
UNICEF’s new program for the 2006-2010 will seek to further promote equity, sustainability of achievements and innovative action that complement bold national efforts to combat maternal and child mortality.
“The Government of Viet Nam has shown its strong commitment to reduce maternal and child mortality, yet disparities and deprivation still exist”, said Christian Salazar, Officer-in-charge of UNICEF Viet Nam. “Improving the survival and well-being of mothers and children will help to reduce inequity and poverty. UNICEF will continue to support the government in promoting the health of Vietnamese women and children. In the coming years, we will focus our assistance on the most needy, including ethnic minority groups and people living in remote areas”, Salazar said.
For further information, please contact:
Maaike Arts (Ms), Health and Nutrition Section, UNICEF Viet Nam
Trịnh Anh Tuấn (Mr), Communication Section, UNICEF Viet Nam