In Viet Nam, inequities and resulting disparities in health outcomes continue to persist and even widen, particularly among the poor and ethnic minorities in hard-to-reach areas. Child mortality and maternal mortality rates in mountainous rural areas are four-fold higher than in rural and urban ones. In nutrition, a reduction in Viet Nam’s child malnutrition rate has been offset by pockets of resistance and the stunting rate in under-5 children remains high.
“A low level of awareness about essential childcare behaviours, especially in hard-to-reach communities, is a major barrier to realizing children’s rights to health and nutrition services and optimum outcomes.”
Addressing these concerns is a key focus of UNICEF’s flagship Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) initiative, a life-cycle and integrated approach currently being implemented in three provinces (Dien Bien, Gia Lai and Kon Tum) to ensure children are safe, healthy, ready to learn and thrive.