Vietnam's health program to enhance people's height, longevity

7 September 2018 Vietnam

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has approved the Vietnam Health Program to improve the well-being, stature, longevity and life quality of Vietnamese people in the 2018-2030 period, Vietnam News Agency reported on Friday.

The program sets three goals - to promote a healthy diet and lifestyle with appropriate nutrition and increased physical activity to improve Vietnamese people's stature and well-being; to raise public awareness for behavioral change to protect health and prevent health-related common risks; and to provide constant and long-term primary healthcare services to reduce burden of illness and health on the community and enhance the quality of life for people.

To achieve the goals, it will focus on improving healthcare for children and students; prevent impact of tobacco and alcohol; ensure environmental sanitation and food safety; and foster the early detection and management of a number of non-communicable diseases, community-based health care provision, and the delivery of health care services for the elderly and workers.

Malnutrition has been mainly blamed for Vietnamese people's shortness compared with their peers in other countries in Asia and Europe, according to Vietnam's National Institute of Nutrition.

Vietnamese men are 163.7 cm tall on average, 13.1 cm shorter than the World Health Organization standard, while Vietnamese women are 153 cm on average, 10.7 cm below the standard. Compared with people of other countries in the region, Vietnamese people are on average about 8 cm shorter.

By the end of 2017, Vietnam had a population of 93.7 million, including 47.5 million women, with an average lifespan of 73.5 years, said its General Statistics Office. The life expectancy of local men was 70.9 years, and that of women was 76.2 years.