Vietnam has made remarkable progress in achieving healthcare Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which benefit all people in the community, UN Resident Coordinator Pratibha Mehta has said.

She made the statement in Hanoi on November 26 at a national conference held by the Ministry of Health and the United Nations Office in Vietnam to review the country’s implementation of healthcare MDGs.

Deputy Health Minister Nguyen Viet Tien said that over the past decade, Vietnam has actively responded to the UN Millennium Declaration to ensure people a better future.

Five out of eight healthcare MDGs concerning nutrition, mother and child wellbeing, HIV prevention, Tuberculosis and malaria, clean water and environmental assurance are on the itinerary of many countries, including Vietnam .

The country has innitial early successes in reducing poverty and improving the health of mothers and children.

Maternal mortality has dropped considerably in the last two decades, from 233 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 69 per 100,000 live births in 2009. Infant mortality rate has fallen from 44.4 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 14 per 1,000 live births in 2011.

Vietnam has made many efforts to prevent HIV/AIDS, with 19,500 new cases in 2011, down 30.1 percent compared with 2001’s figure.

However, Vietnam still faces many obstacles. Regional and population group inequality as well as the rate of malnourished children remain high, at 32 percent nationwide.

Vietnam should approach overall healthcare, popularise essential health services, improve nutrition and prevent HIV, especially for poor people, ethnic minorities and vulnerable population groups, suggested the UN resident coordinator.

Vietnam has some way to go in improving the skills of medical staff to supply basic healthcare services, and develop a national insurance system.-VNA