Joint commitment signed to facilitate nutrition improvement for Vietnamese mothers and children

Wednesday, 2019-10-16 17:09:20
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Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam speaks at the conference. (Photo: VGP)
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NDO – Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam has joined delegates to sign a joint commitment to promote efforts in improving maternal nutrition and complementary feeding practices in Vietnam.

The event was part of the launching for the State of the World’s Children 2019 report and a framework on complementary feeding and maternal nutrition improvement in Vietnam, held by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNICEF in Hanoi on October 16.

Speaking at the launching conference, Deputy PM Dam affirmed that the work of ensuring nutrition for mothers and children is one of special interest by the Government of Vietnam, reflected in a range of international commitments Vietnam has joined, as well as issuing and effectively implementing multiple policies, programmes and schemes on this work.

However, in reality, ensuring nutrition for children still faces many issues that need to be improved (both in terms of public awareness and policy formulation) in the future, Dam added.

To overcome the shortcomings, the government senior official emphasised the need to reduce nutrition limited indicators, with a focus on stepping up communications to raise public awareness about nutrition. The propaganda must be based on the results of scientific research, and at the same time, to be deployed in a close and understandable ways for people to absorb and change their unreasonable behaviours, Dam suggested.

Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam and representatives sign a joint commitment to support the improvement of nutrition for Vietnamese mothers and children. (Photo: VGP)

In addition, the deputy PM also urged the relevant agencies to work closely with foreign experts and international organisations to consult, research, formulate, propose and effectively implement key policies, schemes, and programmes on nutrition in Vietnam.

Rana Flowers, the UNICEF Representative in Vietnam, informed that this year's report gave a fresh perspective on the global child malnutrition and proposed solutions that prioritise nutrition for children to develop human capital (both physically and mentally).

According to the UNICEF representative, only US$1 invested in nutrition for children in the first 1,000 days of life, US$18 will be paid off in the future. On the contrary, without nutrition from a young age, children health can be negatively impacted with their physical condition or learning, and the consequences result poor labour productivity, susceptibility to diseases, early retirement and low life expectancy. Nutrition for children is considered the "magic bullet" to promote sustainable development in the future.

UNICEF affirms that ensuring proper nutrition for mothers is also important for the health and well-being of themselves and their children, calling for actions to improve the situation of complementary feeding to address stunting and ensure that all Vietnamese children can develop optimally.