The National Action Programme for Nursing and Midwifery for the 2013 – 2020 period has manifested the Vietnamese Government’s strong commitment to accelerate the progress of fulfilling millennium development goals, especially saving maternal and new-born lives.

It was highlighted at a symposium in Hanoi on May 29, co-hosted by the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the United Nations Population Fund in Vietnam (UNPFA).

Addressing the event, Deputy Health Minister Le Quang Cuong said the programme acknowledges the importance of nurses and midwives in the health care system and encourages them to provide high-quality medical services. This will help save more lives, especially those living in mountainous and ethnic people-resided areas.

Delegates pointed out challenges that need to be addressed to improve the role of medical staff working in this field.

Mandeep K.O’Brien, UNPFA acting chief representative, stressed the importance of investment in medical workers, especially those working in nursing and midwifery, saying that it is a cost-effective strategy.

MoH and UNPFA representatives pledged to lessen inequality in accessing medical services by 2015, especially among vulnerable groups.

Two years before the deadline for fulfilling the millennium development goals, the Government, UN, development partners, the private sector and social organisations are urged to work closely together for a fair health care service in Vietnam.-VNA