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Speech by UNICEF Deputy Representative Jean Dupraz at the launch of the Review of Child Injury Prevention in Viet nam

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Date:       15th April, 2010
Event:     Launching of the Review Report on Child Injury Prevention in Viet Nam
Venue:    International Press Conference – 11 Le Hong Phong - Ha Noi
Speaker: Mr Jean Dupraz, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Viet Nam

Madame Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan, Minister of MOLISA,
Madame Ngo Thi Minh, Vice-chairwoman of the National Assembly’s Committee for Culture, Education, Children and Youth, ,
Participants from the Government, from the Party,
Dear Representatives of the press,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to be here today at this special event to launch the Review Report of Child Injury Prevention in Viet Nam.

In the report, we read that every day in Viet Nam, injuries takes away the lives of more than twenty children and adolescents, and that mortality represents only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the real burden of injury.  These figures reflect a situation that must be addressed with urgency.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child states that all children have the right to a safe environment and to protection from injury and violence.  Realising these rights is not easy, but it can be achieved through concerted action.

As the Review Report indicates, the Government of Viet Nam is a pioneer in the region with the issuance and implementation of the National Injury Prevention Policy 2002-2010.  Within this legal framework, important achievements have been obtained.  For example, awareness of the general public has been raised through regular mass media campaigns and the development of communication materials targeting various groups from parents, care-takers, and children to policy makers.  The Government has initiated a series of environmental modification interventions such as the establishment of safe homes, safe communities and safe schools. The Government has also adopted and enforced policies that have significantly changed the course of injury prevention throughout the country such as the Law on Helmet Wearing for all motorbike drivers and passengers. Today, child injury is no longer an invisible issue in Viet Nam.    

However, work in this area is just getting started and more needs to be done. Please allow me to point out 4 areas that the Review Report highlight are requiring special attention.  First, there is a need to develop a comprehensive plan of action on child injury prevention, which includes legislative, enforcement and environmental changes to support existing education and public awareness campaigns.  Importantly, this plan should be an integral part of any national child survival and development strategy aiming at reducing child morbidity and mortality in Viet Nam.

Second, there is a need to enhance inter-ministerial coordination in child injury prevention at all levels.

Third, there is a need to strenghten knowledge and evidence to respond to child injuries effectively.

And fourth, there is a need to improve access to health care, particularly emergency and other pre-hospital care services, which are  vital to reduce the burden of deaths and disabilities due to injury in children.
Ladies and gentlemen,

The Report on Child Injury Prevention in Viet Nam has consolidated all efforts that have been made during the last few years to combat child injury in this country.  Let me take this opportunity to congratulate all of you on your great efforts in this area of work.

The report provides much more useful information relevant to all of us working in child injury prevention and I hope you will take time to read it through.   I would like to end here by extending our sincere appreciation to the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs for taking the leadership in organising this launch.  I am confident that, together, we can build and foster a safer environment for all Vietnamese children.

Thank you.


Click here to download the report: A Review of Child Injury Prevention in Viet Nam