24.3 percent of under-five Vietnamese children were stunted in Vietnam in 2016 (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Communication work is one of the major solutions to prevent malnutrition in children, especially those of ethnic minority groups, a health official said.

Truong Tuyet Mai, Deputy Director of the National Institute of Nutrition under the Health Ministry, said at a workshop in Hanoi on December 8 that communication campaigns can help raise public awareness of undernourishment and encourage good practices in child care.

The official said in 2016, 24.3 percent of under-five children were stunted in Vietnam. Of note, the stunted growth rate among ethnic minority children under five (32.1 percent) doubled that of children of Kinh (Viet), the ethnic majority.

She attributed the imbalance to the limited access to health care services of ethnic minorities and their inadequate feeding practices in early age.

Dragana Strinic, Country Director at Save the Children International, said Vietnam has made marked progresses in reducing the malnutrition rate.

However, she said, the stunted growth rate among ethnic minority children has still remained high, warning that stunted growth could seriously affect development of children.

The “For all children” campaign which was announced during the workshop is an initiative of the Save the Children International, aiming to improve nutrition for ethnic minority children, she said.

The campaign promotes a healthy diet and better health care during pregnancy, and breastfeeding, Strinic added, noting that it is expected to contribute to implementing the national nutrition strategy during 2011-2020 with a vision towards 2030.-VNA