International Organizations Applaud Vietnam’s Child Injury Prevention Efforts

The rate of child injuries in Vietnam dropped from 1,001/100,000 in 2016 to 600/100,000 last year, and child drowning deaths decreased to 100 each year. These are the results of the child injury prevention programme launched in the country during the 2016-2020 period, which have been lauded by many international organizations.

The Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA) in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Global Health Advocacy Incubator (GHAI) organized a workshop in Hanoi on November 30 on the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Decision No. 1248/QD-TTg approving the child injury prevention program for 2021-2030.

Child injury rate falling

A representative from the WHO in Vietnam said globally, about 465,302 children die each year due to injuries, and 1,275 lose their lives daily to injuries.

Meanwhile, tens of millions of children suffer from injuries that require hospital treatment annually, resulting in long-term health, psychological and even lifelong consequences.

Therefore, over the past decades, with strong political commitments of many countries and the support of international organizations, progress has been made in child injury prevention.

In Vietnam, the work has received the due attention from the National Assembly, Government, agencies and localities. The 2016 Law on Children prescribes the responsibility of the State and families in child injury prevention.

MoLISA Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said with the resolve of centrally-run agencies and local authorities, as well as the active participation of organizations, families, the entire society and children themselves, the support of international organizations will bring about a safe and healthy living environment to Vietnamese children, and promote their all-round development.

In 2016, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 234/QD-TTg approving the child injury prevention program for 2016-2020.

Over the past five years, the program has helped to reduce the rate of child injuries from 1,001/100,000 in 2016 to 600/100,000 in 2020. Child injury fatalities also dropped from 19.7/100,000 (2016) to 17/100,000 (2020), while child drowning deaths decreased to 100 each year.

Statistics show 90 percent of children wear life jackets when participating in waterway traffic. Up to 90 percent and 50.3 percent of primary and secondary students have been equipped with road traffic safety knowledge and water safety skills, respectively.

Annnie Chu, a WHO representative in Vietnam, speaks at the workshop

Applauding Vietnam’s achievements in this regard, Annnie Chu, a WHO representative in Vietnam, said the 2021-2030 programme will create an important foundation for the country to take more effective prevention measures, thus reducing child injuries in the next decade.

The WHO has closely coordinated with the MoLISA and partners over the past years, and will continue its companionship to help Vietnam successfully roll out the programme, she pledged.

Bloomberg Philanthropies Director Kelly Larson expressed her hope that Vietnam will become a country in Asia-Pacific that would take lead in implementing child injury prevention programmes.

She also spoke highly of the Vietnamese Government’s commitments to replicating the model of the child drowning prevention programme.

Solutions to minimize child injuries

The delegates, however, shared the view that drowning remains a leading cause of fatalities among children aged from 6 to 15 years old.

Doan Thi Thu Huyen, Country Director of the GHAI in Vietnam, speaks at the workshop.

“Over the past three years, we have organized swimming courses for more than 14,000 children, and taught over 30,200 others with water safety skills,” said Doan Thi Thu Huyen, Country Director of the GHAI in Vietnam. “We hope for further companionship with the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs to share the experience in implementing the program nationwide, contributing to ensure safety for local children.”

Vu Kim Hoa, deputy head of the MoLISA’s Child Affairs Department, said the 2021-2030 program aims to reduce child injuries and child injury deaths, raise the awareness of all-level authorities, the community, parents, caretakers and children about child injury prevention, and provide training on child injury prevention for officials in relevant sectors.

MoLISA Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said child injury prevention has always received the due attention of the NA, the Government, agencies and localities.

Delegates at the workshop also looked into nine implementation solutions, including enhancing the information and education work, equipping children with necessary knowledge and skills, improving the capacity of workers in this regard, consolidating relevant policies and laws, and materialize them, and intensifying cooperation and support of international organizations as well as the involvement of agencies, organizations and the community in these efforts, among others.

MoLISA Deputy Minister Nguyen Thi Ha said ministries, sectors and organizations from both central and local levels should actively develop plans and appropriate solutions to realize the national program on child injury prevention and control's goals in the 2021-30 period.

“Based on the actual situation of socio-economic conditions, localities should develop plans and allocate local budgets to mobilize resources for the program to apply effective intervention models to create a safe environment for children,” said Ha.

In addition, Ha added, ministries, sectors and localities need to strengthen inter-sectorial coordination, inspect and supervise the implementation of the program, share information and strictly handle violations relating to child injuries./.

On July 19, 2021, the Prime Minister issued Decision No. 1248/QD-TTg approving the program on child injury prevention for the 2021-2030 period. The program is set to control the child injury situation in all types of accidents and injuries, especially drowning and traffic accidents, in order to ensure the health and life of children and the happiness of families and society.