Vietnam ranks 89th in UNICEF's list on children

Ha Noi, Dec. 13 (VNA) -- Viet Nam has been ranked 89th of 198 countries in the Care and Protection of Children by the United Nations Children's Fund, UNICEF, following a decline in deaths of children under five.

UNICEF Country representative Morten Giersing announced the ranking at a news briefing about the World's Children 2001 in Ha Noi on Dec. 13. The briefing was given by UNICEF and Viet Nam's Committee for Protection and Care of Children.

Giersing praised the Viet Nam Government for helping children realize their rights during the past decade.

In particular, he noted the impressive progress made in immunization, primary school enrolment and birth registration.

More than 93 percent of children under six attend primary school, 90 percent of new-born infants are registered and 93.3 percent of children have been immunized against six killer diseases.

But only 69 percent of the 1.654 million children born in Viet Nam this year were delivered with help from medical workers.

Giersing emphazised that Viet Nam should now turn its attention to helping the 36.4 percent of all children under five who suffer from stunted growth, the 33.13 percent who are underweight and the 48 percent who do not have access to clean water.

The mortality and disability rates of children are partially attributed to injuries suffered in transport accidents and 17,750 children under 18 are reported HIV/AIDS infected with the figure expected to increase.

UNICEF called on parents to pay attention to their children in the first three years, the most important period in their growoth and development and stressed the father's role in the family.--VNA