Vietnam to spend $30m protecting children from road crashes, drowning

Thanh Nien News

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Children in northern Vietnam sail a raft to school. Drowning is a leading cause of death among children in the country. Photo credit: Zing Children in northern Vietnam sail a raft to school. Drowning is a leading cause of death among children in the country. Photo credit: Zing

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Vietnam has planned to spend around US$30 million reducing injury-related deaths among children and teenagers, which currently stand at a very high rate compared to most of the world.
Officials said at a Hanoi conference Tuesday that Vietnam is one of the countries with the biggest number of fatal injuries among children. The most likely causes of death are drowning, road crashes, poisoning, falls, burns and animal bites.
Vu Thi Kim Hoa, a senior child protection official at the Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, said injury-related deaths among children and teenagers in Vietnam have dropped from 20 a day in 2010 to around 18 in 2013.
But that was still higher than in other Southeast Asian countries, and eight times above the rate in high-income countries.
The country had to spend around VND30 trillion ($1.3 billion) every year fixing the damage from these preventable incidents, not to mention the spiritual damage left on the victim's parents, officials said.
Thus the social affairs ministry has initiated a five-year program using money from the state budget and international donors to reduce fatal injuries by building safe houses, safe schools and developing safe communities.
The program has set to reduce the number of children victims of road crashes by 10 percent and those killed by drowning also by 10 percent.

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