Maternal Child Health

While newborns have a better chance of survival than ever before in Viet Nam, UNICEF is working to increase the quality and coverage of care provided before, during and after birth to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.


The Challenge

Viet Nam has made impressive advancements in reproductive health and maternal child care. With a four-fold reduction in maternal mortality and a dramatic halving of under-5 mortality in recent decades, Viet Nam’s maternal child health indicators compare favourably with other countries with similar average incomes per capita.

Despite this progress, giving birth in Viet Nam remains a risky proposition for many women and their babies. Inadequate and limited access to health care during pregnancy, childbirth and early childhood means 600 maternal deaths and more than 10,000 neonatal deaths are recorded in the country each year.

Children still fail to get the best start to life, with 100 children under-5 dying each day of preventable causes. Although ethnic minorities account for 15 per cent of the total population, the under-5 child mortality rate for this group is 3.5 times higher than for the Kinh majority people. Moreover, there is widespread under-reporting of neonatal and stillborn deaths, especially in mountainous rural areas largely populated by ethnic minorities.

UNICEF Viet Nam\Truong Viet Hung

While newborns have a better chance at survival than ever before in Viet Nam, the majority of under-5 deaths still occur during the first year (82 per cent) and the first month (61 per cent).

The Solution

With the period around birth a critical window of opportunity to prevent and manage maternal and newborn complications, UNICEF is working with local health authorities in Viet Nam to strengthen a number of approaches to save young lives.

With its simple set of interventions, Early Essential Newborn Care has evolved into a flagship model that has been scaled-up nationwide since 2015 to reach 9,000 health facility staff and ensure more mothers and babies benefit from skin-to-skin contact and exclusive breastfeeding through the First Embrace and Kangaroo Mother Care approaches. We support the piloting of innovative information technology to update and track mothers and children’s indicators to reduce the infant mortality rate as well as measles, mumps and rubella in Viet Nam.

As the world begins work on the Sustainable Development Goals agenda, it is essential Viet Nam with UNICEF support brings about significant improvements in levels of coverage and quality of care provided before, during and after birth to achieve the goal of ending preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.

UNICEF Viet Nam\Truong Viet Hung

UNICEF promotes a holistic, rights-based approach to maternal and child health, with support focused on reducing inequities in care, strengthened local health systems, risk-informed planning and family caring practices.


Link to video on it's hosted site.
Dien Bien is home to 21 ethnic minorities in the Northwest of Vietnam with more than 491,000 inhabitants. Child mortality rate among ethnic minorities is four times higher than the rate of Kinh Hoa. Meternal mortality rate in mountainous area is three times higher than the rate of delta areas. The reason for this mortality rate is because only a small percentage of pregnant women came to healthcare facilities to give birth, so there are concerns over hygiene and sanitation matters. With the support of the development partners Johnson&Johnson, UNICEF has helped saving the lives of millions of Vietnamese women and children. In this five year partnership, Johnson&Johnson, UNICEF and Vietnam’s Health Ministry wil help promote the capacity of more than 3,000 health workers and ethnic minority midwives in four provinces of Lao Cai, Dien Bien, Gia Lai and Kon Tum to master the practices in providind cares for mothers and newborn babies.