SPECIAL REGIONAL CONSIDERATIONS - VIETNAM
GENERAL HEALTH ISSUES IN THE POPULATION
Fourty-one percent of Vietnam's total population are children aged between zero and 18 years. Many have benefited from Vietnam's increasing prosperity. However, 29% of the total population continues to live in poverty and around 95% of the poor live in rural areas. The growing socio-economic inequalities have left their youngest children from rural and ethnic minority communities far more vulnerable to death, disease, malnutrition and injury than their more affluent urban cousins.
There is still a high prevalence of chronic malnutrition among the under five population. According to statistics (1996-2004) 28% of the under five population were moderately underweight while 4% were severely underweight. Nine percent of infants born from 1998-2004 were of low birth weight.
Both maternal mortality and neonatal mortality remain relatively high, mainly in ethnic minorities and in remote areas. There is also a high rate of induced abortion in these areas.
Mortality due to infectious, vector-borne and communicable diseases continues although they now represent less than 25% of the causes of mortality (e.g. ARI and parasitic diseases in children, Hepatitis B, food borne related problems).