National Micronutrient Day will take place on June 1-2, promoting the essential role micronutrients play in people’s health, stature and brainpower.

During Micronutrient Day, children aged 6 to 60 months nationwide will be provided with Vitamin A, said Director of the National Institute of Nutrition under the Health Ministry Le Thi Hop at a press briefing on May 24.

The children will also receive worm treatment and have their height measured.

There will be a communication campaign to raise public knowledge on nutrition and care for women at reproductive age, pregnant and breast-feeding women as well as children under five years old.

The National Institute of Nutrition has suggested caregivers combine 15-20 foods from the four food groups in daily meals.

Infants should be fed only breast milk in the first six months of their lives and be supplemented with suitable and locally available food, according to the institute.

The Vitamin A supplement programme has been carried out in all communes and wards across the country for many years, benefiting over 90 percent of children aged 6 to 36 months and between 6 and 60 months in 22 disadvantaged provinces.

According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, malnutrition among children is common in Vietnam, one in three children under-five exhibits stunted growth, reflecting inadequate health and nutrition services for women and young children.

Vietnam is one of the 24 countries that account for 80 percent of the world’s stunted children.

Vitamins and minerals are needed only in tiny quantities, but their absence can be devastating. Micronutrient deficiencies, however, often have no visible warning signs, causing a ‘hidden hunger’ with far-reaching consequences.-VNA