Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malnutrition is a major issue in ethnic minorities



Malnutrition is a major issue in ethnic minorities

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Girls of Hmong ethnicity in Nong truong Moc Chau Township in Vietnam’s Son La province. NGUYEN CUONG/VIETNAM NEWS AGENCY/VIET NAM NEWS

Malnutrition is a major issue in ethnic minorities

One in every three ethnic minority children in Vietnam suffers from stunted growth, while one in five is underweight, a new report said.

The study, released by the World Bank and Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition, is the latest comprehensive research on persistent malnutrition in the ethnic minorities.

Ethnic minorities account for 73 per cent of the poor in the Southeast Asian country.

The report said the rate of malnutrition in Vietnamese children remarkably decreased over the last two decades, from 36.5 per cent diagnosed with stunted growth in 2000 to 24.6 per cent in 2015.

However, the disparities between children of ethnic minorities and those of Kinh people, who have the largest population in Vietnam, grew larger over time.

There was approximately 31 per cent of minority children stunted in 2015, more than doubling the rate of Kinh people at 15 per cent and the average national rate at 17.5 per cent.

“Despite Vietnam’s impressive progress in reducing the rate of malnutrition over the past two decades, ethnic minorities children still lag behind, and the disparity is widening,” said World Bank country director for Vietnam Ousmane Dione.

“The next phase of efforts on malnutrition should be more targeted, concentrating on the provinces with the highest problems, to create a breakthrough.”

Poverty was believed to be the root of rampant malnutrition in the ethnic communities, as the report found only 39 per cent of children of two years old and younger received a nutritionally adequate diet.

Undernourishment in such time span – which is dubbed the first golden 1,000 days in a child’s life – can lead to extensive and largely irreversible damage to physical growth and brain development, the United Nations Children’s Fund said.

Malnutrition is a worldwide issue which is proved to be the cause of death for 45 per cent of children aged below five and also leaves long-term negative impacts on a person’s productivity and lifelong income.

The economic costs of undernourishment are estimated to bring a country’s gross domestic product down by between two and 10 per cent, the World Bank said.

VIET NAM NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen gets Covid, shuns G20, APEC summits

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said he has tested positive for Covid-19 in Indonesia, where he is slated to attend the G20 summit in his capacity of the ASEAN chair. In a social media post addressing the Cambodian public, he said: “Before leaving Cambodia, I always

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol