Medical workers give advice to mothers (Photo: VNA)

A programme on piloting maternal and child health (MCH) record books in Vietnam has had encouraging outcomes, as heard at a seminar in Hanoi on August 11.

Participants at the function said the books are a tool to continuously monitor and care for mothers and children during pregnancy, birth and post-partum periods until the child reaches the age of six.

Targeted book users are expecting mothers and family members who can receive valuable information about caring for mothers and children and record their health conditions. Meanwhile, health workers can refer to older information noted in the book to provide better medical services.

The programme was piloted in all communes of northern Dien Bien and Hoa Binh, central Thanh Hoa and southern An Giang province from 2011 and 2014, said Doctor Nguyen Duc Vinh from the Ministry of Health’s Maternal and Child Health Department.

The move was aimed to standardise the monitoring of maternal and child health, enhance management capacity of the ministry, improve knowledge and skills of medical staff, raise awareness of pregnant women and child caretakers and boost dissemination of maternal and child health knowledge, he noted.

A review showed that 81 percent of beneficiary mothers carried the MCH record book along when receiving check-ups at communal clinics. Ninety percent of the mothers also brought the books when having their children vaccinated.

While 92 percent of the women had their health examined at least three times during the pregnancy, their awareness of dangerous symptoms during pregnancy was also raised, Tuan said.

Addressing representatives from departments of health and reproductive health clinics in 22 provinces, Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien said the book has been used in Japan for almost 70 years, substantially improving maternal and child health.

Though the piloting in Vietnam has produced considerable outcomes, there is an array of challenges to expanding the use of the MCH record books, including in professional and financial aspects, she admitted.

At the seminar, participants sought ways to combine the book and the immunisation record book and extend the use of the MCH record book nationwide from 2016.-VNA