Vietnam promotes child care efforts

Ha Noi, Dec. 5 (VNA) -- Vietnamese children have received help to improve their health, education and adequate nutrition, said a report at a conference jointly held in Ha Noi on Dec. 4 by the General Statistics Office (GSO) and the UNICEF.

Viet Nam's child manutrition rate stands at 33 percent and more than 93 percent of primary school-aged children are enrolled in classes, according to a study by the GSO.

The research, based on surveys conducted with 7,628 households in 240 communes and wards throughout the country, will form the basis for the Government's child protection policies between 2001 and 2010.

The report, conducted in cooperation with the Committee for Child Protection and Care, provided detailed descriptions of critical issues such as education, health, nutrition, safe water and sanitation.

It aimed to build a dossier of Viet Nam's record in ensuring children's basic rights and development.

Researchers also focused on women's knowledge about HIV/AIDS, health care services available for women and children, and the use of contraceptives.

The research, dubbed Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey II (MICSII), found that 3.4 percent of Vietnamese children never attend school.

The problem was particularly acute in the north-west, where 15.45 percent of children go without schooling.

The percentage of 6-10 year-old children attending primary school stood at more than 93 percent. But just 75 percent of 11-14 year olds carried on into lower secondary school, the survey found.

The MICSII was designed to evaluate the progess and the shortcomings in the implementation of the national Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Care was taken to ensure a representative sample of urban and rural areas, and the eight geographical areas of the nation's 61 cities and provinces.

Data collection activities were conducted in May and June this year.

The MICSII survey was conducted under directive 34/1999/CT-TTg on promoting child protection, reviewing the national plan of action for children in the 1991-2000 period.

It received technical assistance in designing and analysing the data from statisticians at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).--VNA