Increasing economic prosperity and social gains cannot hide widening gaps for Viet Nam’s 26 million children in accessing services and support, with serious impacts on children’s health and nutrition.
While dramatic progress has been made across a range of health indicators during the past two decades, inequities are still driven by ethnicity, household income, disadvantages of living in rural and mountainous areas and maternal education.
Today, 100 children under-5 still die of preventable causes, with the figure 3.5 times higher among ethnic minorities in northern mountainous areas.
An unfinished agenda remains in infant and young child nutrition to ensure every child has the best possible start in life, with 1.9 million children under-5 stunted and at risk from permanent physical and brain damage.
Clean water, sanitation and good hygiene practices are essential for the survival and development of children, yet many in rural Viet Nam are still at risk from water and sanitation-related diseases with three million children deprived of clean water.
Immunization has saved millions of lives and protected countless children in Viet Nam from illness and disability. Yet, coverage in mountainous, remote and ethnic minority-populated areas remains low and is compounded by misinformation that can erode public trust in national immunization efforts.