Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - VN to lower malnutrition among ethnic minority kids

VN to lower malnutrition among ethnic minority kids

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Child malnutrition remains a major problem in Vietnam, especially among ethnic minority communities in remote areas. VIET NAM NEWS

VN to lower malnutrition among ethnic minority kids

Vietnam plans to reduce the rate of underweight and malnourished children under five years to less than 15 per cent by 2030.

The target is set in a programme on the protection and development of ethnic minorities for 2021-2030 which has been approved by Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc.

The plan prioritises ethnic minority people residing in 12 provinces, namely Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, Lai Chau, Dien Bien, Son La, Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh and Kon Tum.

It aims to drastically reduce maternal and child mortality rates as well as malnutrition among children under five, contributing to improving the quality of the population and ensuring equal development among ethnic groups.

Vietnam is home to 52 minority groups who make up 14 per cent of its population of 96 million.

Child malnutrition remains a major problem in the country, especially among ethnic minority communities in remote areas.

According to the National Assembly’s Committee of Ethnic Affairs, the prevalence of undernutrition among ethnic minorities mainly exists in the Tay Nguyen (Central Highlands), North Central region and northern mountainous region. Ethnic minority groups that have the highest rates are Chut, Bo Y, Ro Mam and Si La with 40, 35, 30 and 21.7 per cent, respectively.

A World Bank report released in December found that nearly one in three ethnic minority children are affected by stunting, more than twice as much as the Kinh majority, and 21 per cent of ethnic minority children are underweight, a ratio 2.5 times higher than that of their Kinh peers.

The Kinh ethnicity represents a dominant 85.3 per cent of the Vietnamese population, 2019 data from the General Statistics Office of Vietnam shows. The official Vietnamese language is that of the Kinh.

Stunting is linked to lower economic productivity, including a 10 per cent reduction in lifetime earnings. When multiplied across an entire nation, poor nutrition can cost a nation up to three per cent of its gross domestic product annually, says the World Bank report.

According to the programme, by 2025, the rate of underweight and malnourished children under five will be reduced to less than 20 per cent.

The number of child marriages and consanguineous marriage will be cut by two to three per cent per year and more than 35 per cent of youths would receive pre-marital advice and health examinations for early detection of infectious diseases and HIV.

The rate of maternal mortality will decrease by 25 per cent and the mortality rate among children under one will fall by two to five per cent.

At least 50 per cent of pregnant mothers and newborns will be screened for the four most common congenital diseases.

By 2030, the number of child marriages and consanguineous marriage is expected to be reduced by three to five per cent per year, while more than 50 per cent of youths will receive pre-marital advice and health examination for early detection of infectious diseases and HIV.

At least 70 per cent of pregnant mothers and newborns will be screened for the five most common congenital diseases.

Nearly all ethnic minority people aged between 15 and 60 can read and write. Up to 70 per cent of workers will receive appropriate training required for local development.

In November, the National Assembly passed a resolution on the master plan on socio-economic development in ethnic minority-inhabited, mountainous and extremely disadvantaged areas in the 2021-2030 period.

Under the master plan, by 2025, the income of the ethnic minority population would double that of 2020’s figure while the ratio of poor households would fall by three per cent a year.

Infrastructure-wise, all schools, classrooms and medical stations are expected to be built or upgraded with duration in mind, 100 per cent of communes are expected to have cement roads leading to their centres, 99 per cent of households have access to the national power grid or other suitable power sources, 90 per cent of the residents have access to clean water and 100 per cent of the population have access to television and radio.

By 2030, the average income per capita of ethnic minority people would account for half of the national one. The poverty rate will be cut to under 10 per cent.

The plan also sets the targets of having 40 per cent of the ethnic minority population being capable or trained in industrial jobs, tourism and service sectors, while 80 per cent of rural households are to be engaged in commercial agricultural production.



  • Bareknuckle champion wants Kun Khmer fighter

    Dave Leduc, who is the current openweight Lethwei boxing champion in Myanmar, has announced that he will travel to Cambodia this year to challenge SEA Games gold medallist Prum Samnang any time that is convenient, after their planned match later this month in Slovakia was

  • Five-year-old Hanuman dances his way into hearts of Cambodia

    A young talent from a new-established settlement has emerged, captivating the online world with his mesmerising performances of the traditional Cambodian monkey dance. Roeun Kakada is a five-year-old prodigy who has taken the social media sphere by storm with his exceptional dance skills and dedication

  • Fresh Covid warnings as Thai hospital fills

    A senior health official reminds the public to remain vigilant, as neighbouring countries experience an increase in Covid-19 cases, with the latest surge appearing to be a result of the Omicron XBB.1.5 sub-variant. Or Vandine, secretary of state and spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health,

  • PM declares ASEAN Para Games open

    The 12th ASEAN Para Games officially kicked off on the evening of June 3 at Morodok Techo National Stadium in Phnom Penh, with a spectacular opening ceremony featuring fireworks and performances by some of the Kingdom’s most accomplished talents. Tens of thousands of sports fans

  • Honda shutters Siem Reap football club

    Japanese football legend Keisuke Honda, the owner of Siem Reap football club Soltilo Angkor FC, has been forced to shut the club down, after it failed to attract sponsorship for the upcoming season. Honda, the former manager of the Cambodia men's national football team, said

  • Waterway job still pending for Kampot tourism port’s opening

    The search is still on for a contractor to expand and deepen the Kampot International Tourism Port’s waterway and deliver additional enhancements allowing safe access for larger vessels, nearly a year after the main construction work on the 4.25ha site was completed on June 30, 2022.