Children's health has been improved over the past 15 years

Ha Noi, Nov. 7 (VNA) -- Children's health has been improved over the past 15 years with malnutrition dropping to 33.13 percent this year, down from 39.8 percent in 1985 and the mortality rate among children under five reducing by half in that time frame.

The figures were reported at the 17th national pediatric conference held in Ha Noi on Nov. 6.

Reports at the conference indicated that more than 90 percent of children were vaccinated against the six child diseases, namely tuberculosis, diptheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio and measles. The number of children suffering xetropthalnia reduced 10 times and the number of children dying from diarrhoea reduced by half compared to 1985.

Presenting a strategy for children's health care for the next ten years (2001-2010), Director of the Pediatric Institute Prof. Nguyen Cong Khanh stressed the need to improve the quality of medical services, build pediatric centres in northwestern, northeastern, central highlands and central coastal regions and eastern Nam Bo (the south). He said that the pediatric sector should raise the quality and expand treatment services, train pediatricians, apply scientific advances in pediatric treatment and give priority to new-born babies' health care.

The conference was attended by Director of the Party Central Committee's Science and Education Commission Dang Huu, Health Minister Do Nguyen Phuong, Chairwoman of the Pediatrics Association Nguyen Thu Nhan, and representatives of the Swedish Embassy, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).