Viet Nam

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On 6 January 2014, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam joined the SUN Movement with a letter of commitment from Le Danh Tuyen, the Director of the National Institute of Nutrition. At the time, Vietnam had developed their first nutrition supporting policy, the National Plan of Action (1995 – 2000). The subsequent National Nutrition Strategies for 2001 – 2010 and 2011 – 2020 were both developed by the Ministry of Health and ratified by the Prime Minister.

Progress

Bringing people together
73% 2017

Bringing people together

Coherent policy and legal framework
73% 2017

Coherent policy and legal framework

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework
75% 2017

Aligning programs around a Common Results Framework

Financial tracking and resource mobilization
54% 2017

Financial tracking and resource mobilization

TOTAL
69% 2017

TOTAL

Nutrition situation

24.6%

Under Five Stunting

5.1%

Low Birth Weight

24.3%

0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding

6.4%

Under Five Wasting

5.3%

Under Five Overweight

14.1%

Woman Anaemia 15-49 years

6.5%

Adult Blood Glucose (Diabetes)

20.6%

Adult Overweight

3.6%

Adult Obesity

Strategic objectives

Viet Nam is keen to re-establish the National Nutrition Steering Committee, as highlighted in the new 2017-2025 National Plan of Action for Nutrition (NPAN) which contains a clear coordination mechanism to enable effective multi-sectoral cooperation, to encourage higher accountability of the Government’s executive and the non-health (nutrition-sensitive) sectors. The new NPAN was initially planned to be approved at the ministerial level. Following the SUN Movement Coordinator’s visit to Viet Nam in February 2017 and the encouragement provided, the plan is now to be endorsed by the Deputy Prime Minister in-charge, unlocking an opportunity for a higher level of commitment and oversight.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
Vietnam’s National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) is the convening body responsible for research, training and implementation. The Nutrition Working Group, an official technical working group within the Health Partnership Group is the multi-stakeholder platform co-chaired by NIN and UNICEF, and was convened regularly every six weeks over the past year. The health sector has decentralised coordination structures in 63 provinces. Recent efforts include the reaching out to Education, Agriculture, and Social Affairs ministries to involve them for the nutrition agenda.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
In Vietnam, the convening body for nutrition is the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN) in the Ministry of Health (MoH). The NIN is the leading institution responsible for research, training and implementation of activities in the field of nutrition, food sciences and clinical nutrition. It has the Secretariat specifically for the effective implementation of the National Nutrition Strategy (NNS).

The Nutrition Cluster Group is the multi-stakeholder platform which engages with key representatives from across sectors and external to the government. In principle, every six weeks, participants from various ministries including Health, Agriculture and Disaster Risk Management, institutes, universities, United Nations (UN) agencies, civil society, donors and global initiatives convene to work towards an agreed set of objectives and priorities. These meetings are co-chaired by the Director of the National Institute of Nutrition and the UNICEF Head of Nutrition.

Last updated: October 2015

The Advertisement Law enforced by Decree 100/2014 on marketing of breast-milk substitutes (BMS) has been disseminated by the Ministry of Health through organised training for health inspectors across the country. Private companies have lobbied for reducing the advertising ban on breast-milk substitutes to children under 12 months, however, the Government has successfully objected, maintaining the initial legislative provision of 24 months. In 2016, the Ministry of Health also issued Circular 38/2016 on breastfeeding support in health facilities and Decree 09/2016 on mandatory food fortification.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The National Nutrition Strategy 2011-2020 is in place and the National Nutrition Action Plan 2016-2020 (NPAN) is under development. The legal enforcement of the Code on Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes, maternity leave for up to 6 months, and food fortification are all in place. Stunting has been included as an indicator in the National Health Action Plan 2016-2020, and its inclusion in the Socio-Economic Development Plan is under consideration. A Children’s Law supporting nutritional care for pregnant women, infants and young children is also being ratified.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The NNS (2011-2020) was ratified by the Prime Minister with a vision toward 2030.

Throughout the past decade, Vietnam has made significant legislation change to protect the breastfeeding rights of women. These changes were part of an effort to fulfil obligations under the Convention of the Right of the Child, the International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and subsequent World Health Assembly resolutions. Government Decree 100/2014/NDCP was an important law on advertising which banned the marketing of breast milk substitutes (for children under 2) and baby foods (for infants under six months). To support its enforcement, the Government also developed the Operational Guideline for Social Marketing.

For the Labour Code, an amendment was approved which saw the extension of maternity leave from four to six months and a guiding decree is being developed to promote the rights of female workers.

The MoH and other relevant Ministries are currently developing a new government Decree on Food Fortification including mandatory salt iodisation and wheat flour fortification.

Last updated: October 2015

The NPAN for 2017-2025 is currently being finalised and will serve as national ministerial guidelines for mainstreaming nutrition into sector policies. The SUN Movement’s checklist on the criteria and characteristics of ‘good’ national nutritional plans was used during the NPAN development. Although the definition of roles and tasks was initiated at the early stage of development of the National Nutrition Strategy 2011-2020, the new NPAN revises the roles of actors, based on the needs and national priorities.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
The NPAN, which will serve as the national guideline for mainstreaming nutrition into sectoral policies, is currently being developed with actions and revised indicators The NPAN is being costed for the nutrition-specific and -sensitive interventions and a mid-term review has been planned for sharing the lessons learnt. The Nutrition Surveillance system collects, analyses and communicates the agreed indicators, with regular progress reports disseminated to nutrition stakeholders.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
The NNS acts as the Common Results Framework (CRF) by which all supporting stakeholders are aligning their nutrition efforts behind. Roles and responsibilities of each line ministry are well defined in the NNS and it is operationalised with a five year Nutrition National Plan of Action developed by the MoH.

The National Action Plan on Nutrition and Infant and Young Child Feeding is nutrition sensitive and implementation of the NNS has been integrated into the plan. These MoH action plans on nutrition and young child feeding are decentralised to the provincial level. Vietnam is exploring the possibility of including regional nutrition strategies, which align with the NNS, into these regional plans. The Provincial Plan of Action 2013-2016 on Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition is being implemented by the MoH at commune and district levels.

A periodical exercise to monitor the implementation of nutrition policies on an annual basis is conducted by the Government. The National Nutrition Programme of the NIN created a formal National Nutrition Surveillance System to track the implementation process of the NNS, however, there are no clear tools to track cross-sector collaboration. A midterm review of the NNS is in process and the result will feed into the adjustment of the plan annually based on performance and priorities.

Last updated: October 2015

The NPAN 2017-2025 has been costed, with support from UNICEF and the SUN Movement Secretariat. Challenges remain in building the ownership of non-health sectors to track and report on the resources mobilised for nutrition. Although there is no long-term resource mobilisation strategy for nutrition, gaps have been identified and resources have been mobilised at national and sub-national levels. With funds from external partners declining, contributions from the private sector present certain challenges due to conflict of interest – as donations are often made in the form of cooperation between dairy companies and governmental health agencies.

Last updated: November 2017

2016
Resources for implementation are mobilized and allocated in alignment with the national strategy and plan. In 2015-2016, at provincial levels, annual planning and action have taken place but the major budget for nutrition specific interventions is coming from the central government budget. The national nutrition budget is reviewed and adjusted based on analysis of annual reports, data from Nutrition Surveillance system, and joint reviews and visits made by government authorities.

Last updated: December 2016

2015
Although, the NNS has not been costed, the NNS acts as a legal foundation for the government to approve and allocate yearly budget for nutrition, especially for the health sector (nutrition-specific programs). Resources for implementation are mobilised and allocated as part of their alignment with the NNS. Nutrition-specific spending in the public budget is tracked and reported annually, however, nutrition-sensitive programmes have proven to be difficult to track and monitor.

Some funds are provided by other external stakeholders including UN agencies and donors at national and/or subnational levels. Tracking and reporting of external funds has proven difficult to track and monitor.

Last updated: October 2015

SUN Government Focal Point

Le Danh TUYEN
Director, National Institute of Nutrition, Ministry of Health

Key Documents

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