Follow us on: 

Mass media campaign on exclusive breast feeding & complementary feeding to reduce the rates of stunting and malnutrition in Viet Nam.

Print Email

breastfeeding00Ha Noi, 13 December 2011 – On the occasion of the micronutrient week in Viet Nam, a mass media campaign on exclusive breastfeeding & complementary feeding was launched today.

Alive & Thrive is a five year initiative (2009-2013), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to promote optimal infant and young child feeding. In Viet Nam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, National Institute of Nutrition, UNICEF and WHO, Alive & Thrive, aims to ensure that mothers, families, communities, health workers and policy makers receive appropriate information on breastfeeding and complementary feeding that enables them to make informed decisions about how children are fed during the first two years of their lives. 

Although exclusive breastfeeding is the most complete form of nutrition for infants during the first six months of life, only 19.6% of Vietnamese infants are exclusively breastfeed during this critical period. This is much lower than the world’s average of 35% of mothers who exclusively breastfeed their children. Lack of early, exclusive and continued breastfeeding along with inappropriate complementary feeding has contributed to the serious health consequences for children in Viet Nam. A third of Vietnamese children are stunted while every fifth child is underweight.

“Breastfeeding is the single most important factor in child survival and development, more important than any vaccine, modern technology or other health interventions. We therefore need to ensure that every child born in Viet Nam gets the best possible start in life – and that start begins with breastmilk,” said Ms. Nemat Hajeebhoy, Country Director of Alive & Thrive.

“Breastfeeding also helps prevent a great number of diseases, in childhood, as well as adulthood, from infections to allergies and chronic conditions like hypertension, diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular diseases and cancer,” said Dr. Le Thi Hop, Director of the National Institute of Nutrition. “By improving feeding practices during the first 24 months of life, we can reduce stunting rates and ultimately improve the health and economic development of Viet Nam. This mass media campaign is a very important step to making sure that every mother and health care worker has ready access to that information and support.”

The United Nations also called for stronger national regulation on marketing of nutrition products targeting young children: “Improper promotion of food products that compete with breastfeeding often negatively affect the choice and ability of a mother to breastfeed normally. Given the special vulnerability of infants and the risks involved in inappropriate feeding practices, usual marketing practices are unsuitable for these products”, said Roger Mathisen, Nutrition Specialist at UNICEF.

The mass media campaign will be executed over the next two years 2012 & 2013. The main messages of the campaign in 2012 are: 

  • Breastfeed your infant within one hour of birth
  • Breastfeed you child exclusively in the first six months - give no water, no formula, no food
  • The more theb baby suckles, the more milk you will produce

breastfeedingThe campaign involves development of a large variety of communication products, including TV commercials, loudspeaker scripts, the “Mat Troi Be Tho” website and a host of print materials.

TV commercials will be aired on national and provincial televisions and on popular websites such as Vietnamnet, Vnexpress, Webtretho, Yahoo, Women and Entertainment networks. TVCs and educational videos will also be showed in the Mat Troi Be Tho couselling facilities and in many hospitals in Hanoi, Hochiminh city, Khanh Hoa and other provinces.

Parents, health workers and caregivers are encouraged to visit the website “” and to become members to receive information on breastfeeding and complementary feeding.

The National Institute of Nutrition estimates that if all families practiced appropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, Viet Nam could reduce its stunting rate of children under 5 by 26% by 2015 year and by 23% by 2020 year.

For further information, please contact:

  • Ms. Vu Thi Thu Ha, Alive and Thrive PR and Advocacy Specialist, Tel: 84 43573 9066 ext:105; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Ms. Nguyen Thi Thanh Huong, UNICEF Communications; Tel. 84 4 3942 5706 ext 401; Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.


The secretary-general's message for the International Day to End Violence against Women and Girls


25 November 2016 - At long last, there is growing global recognition that violence against women and girls is a human rights violation, public health pandemic and serious obstacle to sustainable development.  Yet there is still much more we can and must do to turn this awareness into meaningful prevention and response.


UNIDO Director General's Op-Ed Article to media on the occasion of UNIDO's 50th anniversary


Did you know that in Viet Nam, the net flow of foreign direct investment increased from USD1billion in 2003 to USD10 billion in 2008, and that by 2015 reached USD23 billion?  Or that the total value of exports rose from USD2 billion in 1990 to USD72 billion in 2010, to reach USD162 billion in 2015? These impressive figures highlight the country’s robust economic success, providing a boost to the economy and employment.

These accomplishments are largely due to the reforms undertaken by Viet Nam since Doi Moi in 1986 which liberalized the economy, attracted foreign investment, fostered exports and reduced poverty. To prepare for reform, Viet Nam received extensive technical assistance from the international community, including from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), well before 1986 and, more precisely, since 1978.

For more than 35 years, UNIDO has been sharing international best practices to help Viet Nam develop inclusive and sustainable industry. With more than USD100 million in expenditure, UNIDO’s technical cooperation activities have been carried out across a broad range of fields, including support to the private sector and technical and industrial research organizations, facilitation of technology transfer, trade capacity-building, human resource development, environmental protection, energy efficiency, investment promotion and responsible business practices.

RSS Email Subscription

Enter your email address: