Vietnam has lowest low birth weight rate in Southeast Asia & Oceania

Number of low birth weight babies remained almost constant in Vietnam over last 15 years, according to latest figures.

Vietnam has lowest low birth weight rate in Southeast Asia & Oceania

Vietnam had the lowest low birth weight rate in Southeast Asia & Oceania in 2015, at 8.2 per cent, according to the latest research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO), published in The Lancet Global Health journal.

“This figure is most encouraging,” said Ms. Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative in Vietnam. “However, as a national average, it does not give us the complete picture and is likely to hide important disparities, for example among the poorest mothers, 28 per cent of whom do not have institutional deliveries and their newborn’s weight is not usually recorded.”

Data from the report shows that more than 20 million babies were born with a low birth weight (less than 2.5 kg, or 5.5 pounds) in 2015; around one in seven of all births worldwide.

Assessing birth weight in 148 countries and territories and reviewing 281 million births, the estimates, which are the first of their kind, found that worldwide low birth weight prevalence fell slightly, from 17.5 per cent in 2000 (22.9 million low birth weight live births) to 14.6 per cent in 2015 (20.5 million). A similar pattern can be seen in Vietnam, as the rate of low birth weight was reduced by 1 per cent from 9.2 per cent in 2000 to 8.2 per cent in 2015, and the number of babies with low birth weight stayed almost constant at 130,000 per year over this period.

Low birth weight is a significant contributor in more than 80 per cent of cases of newborn fatalities. Babies that survive are at a greater risk of stunting and developmental and physical ill health later in life. Calling for urgent attention to reduce the number of babies born with low birth weight, the research challenges governments in rich as well as poor countries to refocus and do more.

“Improved levels can be achieved, with a stronger focus on maternal nutrition delivered in quality ante-natal care, and institutional delivery services for all mothers, especially the poorest and those in remote and mountainous areas,” said Ms. Flowers. “Likewise, a scaling up of nationwide interventions for premature and low birth weight babies, such as Early Essential Newborn Care and Kangaroo Mother Care, would also secure stronger results.”

Furthermore, the study concluded that at the current rate of progress - with a 1.2 per cent yearly decline in low birth weight rates between 2000 and 2015 - the world will fall well short of the annual reduction rate of 2.7 per cent required to meet the WHO-agreed target of a 30 per cent reduction in prevalence between 2012 and 2025.

 

The study’s authors called for international action to ensure that all babies are weighed at birth, together with improved clinical care and the promotion of public health action on the causes of low birth weight. They point to an urgent need for more investment and action to tackle the key drivers of low birth weight throughout life. Such drivers include extremes of maternal age, multiple pregnancies, obstetric complications, chronic conditions (for e.g. hypertension), infections (for e.g. malaria), and maternal nutritional status, as well as exposure to environmental factors such as indoor air pollution and tobacco and drug use. In low-income countries, poor growth in the womb is a major cause of low birth weight. In more developed regions, low birth weight is often associated with premature birth (babies born before 37 weeks).

“Despite clear commitments, our estimates indicate that national governments are doing too little to reduce low birth weight,” said lead author Dr. Hannah Blencowe from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. “We have seen very little change over 15 years, even in high-income settings where low birth weight is often due to prematurity as a result of high maternal age, smoking, medically unnecessary caesarean sections, and fertility treatments that increase the risk of multiple births. Meeting the global nutrition target of a 30 per cent reduction in low birth weight by 2025 will require more than doubling the pace of progress.”

In signaling concerns regarding a lack of data in low and middle-income countries, the report sounds a clear call to action to weigh every baby at birth. “Every newborn must be weighed, yet worldwide we don’t have a record for the birth weight of nearly one-third of all newborns,” said co-author Ms. Julia Krasevec, Statistics & Monitoring Specialist from UNICEF. “We cannot help babies born with low birth weight without improving the coverage and accuracy of the data we collect. With better weighing devices and stronger data systems, we can capture the true birth weight of every baby, including those born at home, and provide better quality care to these newborns and their mothers.”

Almost three-quarters of low birth weight babies were born in Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, where data is more limited. However, researchers also noted a virtual lack of progress since 2000 in high-income countries in Europe and North America as well as Australia and New Zealand.

One of the lowest rates of low birth weight in 2015 was estimated to be in Sweden (2.4 per cent). This compares to around 7 per cent in high-income countries such as the US (8 per cent), the UK (7 per cent), Australia (6.5 per cent), and New Zealand (5.7 per cent). The regions making the fastest progress are those with the highest numbers of low birth weight babies - Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa - with a yearly decline in low birth weight prevalence of 1.4 per cent and 1.1 per cent, respectively, between 2000 and 2015. Southern Asia still has almost half of the world’s low birth weight live births, with an estimated 9.8 million in 2015.

“Low birth weight is a complex clinical entity composed of intrauterine growth restriction and preterm birth,” said co-author Dr. Mercedes de Onis from the WHO.

“This is why reducing low birth weight requires understanding of the underlying causes in a given country. For example, in Southern Asia a large proportion of low birth weight babies are born at term but with intrauterine growth restriction, which is associated with maternal under-nutrition, including maternal stunting. Conversely, preterm birth is the major contributor to low birth weight in settings with many adolescent pregnancies, a high prevalence of infection, or where pregnancy is associated with high levels of fertility treatment and caesarean sections (like in the US and Brazil). Understanding and tackling these underlying causes in high-burden countries should be a priority.”

VN Economic Times

 
 

Other News

.
Meeting to popularize the Vietnam Coast Guard Law at Gia Luan School
Meeting to popularize the Vietnam Coast Guard Law at Gia Luan School
SOCIETYicon  29/05/2020 

Today, May 29, the Task Force on drug control No.1 organized a propaganda session on the Vietnam Coast Guard Law 2018 and drug prevention for more than 200 officers, teachers and students 

Training session on VN’s sea and islands and Vietnam Coast Guard Law for reserve soldiers of Ba Dinh district
Training session on VN’s sea and islands and Vietnam Coast Guard Law for reserve soldiers of Ba Dinh district
SOCIETYicon  19/06/2020 

Propagating and consolidating the knowledge of the situation of the country’s sea, islands, drug prevention and fighting, the Law on Coast Guard to help the reserve officers and soldiers 

Center for Professional Training of Coast Guard: A bright spot for mass mobilization
Center for Professional Training of Coast Guard: A bright spot for mass mobilization
SOCIETYicon  03/07/2020 

The Center for Professional Training of Coast Guard always focuses on leading, directing and promoting mass mobilization task, contributing to strengthening the solidarity between the army and the people.

Coast Guard Region 2: "Accompanying fishermen" throughout the Central Coast
Coast Guard Region 2: "Accompanying fishermen" throughout the Central Coast
SOCIETYicon  02/04/2020 

The High Command of Coast Guard Region 2 will expand the scope and subjects in implementing the program "The Coast Guard accompanies fishermen" throughout the coast of the central region.

Online conference on Vietnam Coast Guard Law
Online conference on Vietnam Coast Guard Law
SOCIETYicon  18/09/2020 

On the morning of September 18, the Ministry of Defense held an online training course on the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard with the participation of 74 localities throughout the country.

"Popularize" law propaganda and education for fishermen
"Popularize" law propaganda and education for fishermen
SOCIETYicon  16/03/2020 

Strengthen the propaganda, dissemination and education of the law, building an all-people defense posture associated with the people's security posture in information security work on the sea and islands.

With Vietnam Coast Guard’s companionship, fishermen understand more about the law
With Vietnam Coast Guard’s companionship, fishermen understand more about the law
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Propaganda activities of the Vietnam Coast Guard have brought into full play, helping fishermen be more deeply aware of the importance of the sea and islands associated with national defense and security tasks.

Improving technical equipment of the Coast Guard’s vessels to put into practical training
Improving technical equipment of the Coast Guard’s vessels to put into practical training
SOCIETYicon  30/06/2020 

The High Command of the Coast Guard specially focuses on research and improvement of technical equipment on vessels of the Coast Guard forces and put into training to fit the actual situation.

High Command of Coast Guard Region 1 inspects shooting skills, using K54 pistols and AK submachine guns, using real bullets
High Command of Coast Guard Region 1 inspects shooting skills, using K54 pistols and AK submachine guns, using real bullets
SOCIETYicon  24/06/2020 

The High Command of Coast Guard Region 1 has organized drills to check the shooting skills using real bullets for its soldiers in 2020.

Popularizing VN Coast Guard Law combined with propaganda on drug prevention for fishermen
Popularizing VN Coast Guard Law combined with propaganda on drug prevention for fishermen
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

The working group went to each fishing boat anchored at the wharf to propagate about the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard and also drug prevention for more than 500 fishermen.

The Coast Guard provides medical examination to Catholics in Loc Ha District
The Coast Guard provides medical examination to Catholics in Loc Ha District
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

In the Cua Sot area, the Coast Guard collaborated with the Northern Association of Young Physicians, Hapro Hanoi and other units to organize medical examination, consultation, provide free medicine, and donate 500 kg of rice to local residents.

The High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 provides information on the country’s sea and island situation
The High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 provides information on the country’s sea and island situation
SOCIETYicon  28/06/2020 

Information on Vietnam’s sea and island situation in 2020 has been provided to 340 officials and members of the Party Committees of Phuoc Buu town and Xuyen Moc commune by officials of the High Command of Coast Guard Region 3.

High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 promotes dissemination of law to local people
High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 promotes dissemination of law to local people
SOCIETYicon  30/06/2020 

The High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 cooperated with the Propaganda Department of Xuyen Moc District Party Committee to organize a meeting 

The High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 hands over antiquities to local museum
The High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 hands over antiquities to local museum
SOCIETYicon  15/05/2020 

The High Command of Coast Guard Region 3 has just handed over the antiques illegally salvaged by fishing vessels to the Museum of Ba Ria - Vung Tau Province.

Coast Guard vessels perform the task of inspecting Vietnam - China fishing activities
Coast Guard vessels perform the task of inspecting Vietnam - China fishing activities
SOCIETYicon  23/04/2020 

During this joint inspection, the Coast Guard forces of the two countries will conduct the inspection and supervision of the implementation of the Fisheries Cooperation Agreement at 9 points in the Gulf of Tonkin’s common fishing area.

50 students from Nhat Quang Secondary School participate in “I love my country’s sea, island” contest
50 students from Nhat Quang Secondary School participate in “I love my country’s sea, island” contest
SOCIETYicon  31/05/2020 

The High Command of the Coast Guard held the contest “I love my country’s sea, island” in Nhat Quang commune, Phu Cu district, Hung Yen province on May 30.

Regulations on equipment, funding and facilities for the Vietnam Coast Guard
Regulations on equipment, funding and facilities for the Vietnam Coast Guard
SOCIETYicon  20/03/2020 

The Law on Vietnam Coast Guard, took effect on July 1, 2019, is a law of special importance, specifying the activities of the Vietnam Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard organizes "I love my country’s sea and islands" contest in Gia Vien
The Coast Guard organizes "I love my country’s sea and islands" contest in Gia Vien
SOCIETYicon  27/06/2020 

This morning, June 27, the High Command of the Coast Guard coordinated with the People's Committee of Gia Vien district, Ninh Binh province to hold the contest "I love my country’s sea and islands".

Seriously implement the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard
Seriously implement the Law on Vietnam Coast Guard
SOCIETYicon  02/03/2020 

The High Command of the Coast Guard has deployed the development of a project to propagate and disseminate the Vietnam Coast Guard Law in the period of 2019 - 2022.

Coordination to ensure technical conditions for the Coast Guard
Coordination to ensure technical conditions for the Coast Guard
SOCIETYicon  01/03/2020 

The coordination regulation to ensure technology for the Coast Guard will help the Coast Guard fulfill the task of protecting sovereignty over the sea and islands in all situations.

 
 
 
Leave your comment on an article

OR QUICK LOGIN