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UNICEF report investigates children's issues in Dien Bien

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A kindergarten teacher plays with children in a playground in Muong Nhe District in northwestern Dien Bien Province. — VNA/VNS Photo Xuan TruongThe first comprehensive situation analysis of children at the provincial level in Viet Nam was published in Ha Noi yesterday.

The study, entitled "An analysis of the situation of children in Dien Bien Province", provides a comprehensive picture of child-related issues in the northern mountainous province of Dien Bien. It examines possible causes of poverty and provides policy recommendations for the northwestern region and Viet Nam as a whole.

Key findings showed that Dien Bien, which is the second poorest province in the country, has one of Viet Nam's highest infant mortality rates: 33 out of every 1,000 babies die during their first year of life and 35 out of every 100 experience stunted growth. Dien Bien also has one of the country's lowest rates of secondary enrolment.

Speaking at the launch, Lotta Sylwander, Country Representative of UNICEF Viet Nam which conducted the study in partnership with local authorities, said although the overall social expenditure in the province increased more than threefold from 2005 to 2009, children were still at risk to several types of aliments due to poverty.

"I also wish to draw your attention to the risks for children because of the alarmingly high HIV infection rate in Dien Bien. In 2008, there were almost 150 new HIV infections per 100,000 people, more than seven times the national average," she said.

Le Thanh Do, vice chairman of the Dien Bien provincial People's Committee, said as information and data on children were often fragmented and scattered, this report was outstanding.

Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalid and Social Affairs Doan Mau Diep said: "The analysis aims at providing high-quality evidence concerning children issues for the development of the socio-economic development plans of Dien Bien Province. It is also an effective tool for monitoring and evaluating policies' implementation."

Do said Dien Bien would use these research outcomes in the development and implementation of provincial plans in the future to ensure that the children's needs in this area are served. 


Source: VNS



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