Over 5 million children under five in Vietnam have received free vitamin A supplements twice annually. (Photo: VNA)

Ha Nam (VNA) – The National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) held a ceremony in northern Ha Nam province on May 21 to kick off the 2016 Vietnam Micronutrient Day (June 1 and 2).

This year, the day will promote daily micronutrient supplements and raise public awareness of the necessity of micronutrient in improving people’s well-being and quality of life.

Speaking at the launching ceremony, Deputy Minister Nguyen Thanh Long said micronutrients are essential to children’s health; a lack of micronutrients has a profound impact on their physical growth, mental development and immune system.

Over 5 million children under five in Vietnam have received free vitamin A supplements twice annually as part of a governmental programme that aims to protect them from the risk of blindness, infection and under-nutrition, Long noted.

The deputy minister asked local health authorities to continue providing vitamin A supplements to children and postpartum women and educate people on how to plan a healthy, balanced diet.

Over the past number of years, vitamin A supplementation has been included in the Micronutrient Day activities across the country. Children aged 6-36 months in 41 provinces, and those at risk of micronutrient deficiency, have been given free vitamin A capsules while children aged 6-60 months have received anthelmintic or anti-parsitic medicine in 22 disadvantaged localities.

Postpartum women nationwide has also been provided a dose of vitamin A within a month after giving birth.-VNA