Vietnam gets mediocre ranking in list of healthiest countries

Thanh Nien News

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Smoking among young people is a risk factor calculated in the Bloomberg rankings. Photo credit: Reuters Smoking among young people is a risk factor calculated in the Bloomberg rankings. Photo credit: Reuters

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Vietnam has been ranked the 62nd healthiest country in the world and among Asia Pacific’s top ten in a new list that combines data from the World Health Organization, the United Nations and the World Bank.
The Bloomberg rankings calculated the health grade of 145 countries by subtracting their risk score from their health score.
Health score factors include life expectancy at birth and infant mortality, causes of death and death rate. The health risk score is based on health-damaging factors such as the proportion of young people who smoke or drink, the number of people with raised cholesterol and blood pressure, the level of pollution and the number of immunizations.
Scoring 51.99 percent, from a health score of 56.97 percent and a 4.98 percent health risk, Vietnam is among the ten healthiest countries of the Asia Pacific region.
Its ranking in Southeast Asia was only below that of Malaysia and Singapore, with the latter ultimately topping the global list and followed by Italy and Australia.
The rankings surveyed countries with population of at least one million and did not include Brunei or Myanmar.
Western Europe took most of the top positions. Israel was the only country from the Middle East with a high ranking while North and South America could not break the top ten. The ten least healthiest countries are all in Africa.
“The data is a useful guide for policy makers, who might look at the practices of higher-scoring countries to improve their own countries’ health scores,” according to the World Economic Forum.
But the forum suggests that a ranking defining “healthy” by “quality of life” rather than “life expectancy” might have lower-income countries in higher places by reporting higher levels of life satisfaction.
The 2015 Legatum Prosperity Index also showed Vietnam performing poorly in the health category.
Vietnam ranked 55 out of 142 countries but its ranking in the health index was 90, down 15 places from last year and also its lowest rank in all categories this year.
The country performs best in the economy index, ranking 32.

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