The Ministry of Labour, War Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) held a conference in Ho Chi Minh City on Nov. 3 to deploy the 2009-2010 child injury prevention plans for 32 southern and central localities.

Speaking at the conference, Marjatta Tolvannen Ojutkangas, a representative from UNICEF, said that around 20 babies and young people in Vietnam die of injuries everyday. Furthermore, national prevention plans prove effective only when localities put forth specific tasks and plans that mobilise community-wide participation in preventing such injuries, she stressed.

According to MoLISA Deputy Minister Dam Huu Dac, drowning and traffic accidents are the two most common causes of death by injury among children in Vietnam.

There are some 10 children that die of drowning each day, mainly in the Red River, Southeastern and Mekong regions, he said, adding that the most important remedy for the situation is to raise awareness of child care and protection in the community, families and at schools before natural disasters strike.

At present, communication and education work is not strong enough to change old behaviours within communities in order to prevent child injuries, especially within the family and at school, said Nguyen Trong An, Vice Director of the ministry’s Child Care and Prevention Department.
MoLISA has approved a child injury prevention plan for the 2009-2010 period with one of the major tasks being to improve agencies, organisations and individuals’ knowledge of child injury prevention through the “Safe House” and “Child Drowning Prevention” projects./.