This study was to assess the prevalence of anemia and deficiencies of vitamin A, iron and zinc in 2122 children 6-59 months, in urban, rural and mountainous areas of Vietnam.
Hemoglobin concentrations were measured using cyanmethemoglobin method. Plasma ferritin was measured by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Plasma retinol and breast milk retinol concentrations were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. Zinc was analyzed using a flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer using trace element-free procedures
prevalence of anemia among children aged 6-59 months was 27.8%, classified as moderate level of public health significant problem. Prevalence of anemia among children living in urban, rural and mountainous areas were, 22.2, 28.4 and 31.2% respectively. Of the anemic children, 63.7% had iron deficiency anemia, and 24.8% children had depleted iron stores. Prevalence of pre-clinical vitamin A deficiency in children aged 6-59 months was 13.0%, classified as moderate level of public health significant problem. The status of micro-nutrient deficiencies are not much reduced compared to data of 2009’survey, when percent of children under 5 with anemic was 29, and percent of children under 5 with pre-clinical vitamin A deficiency was 12.5. Prevalence of serum zinc deficiency in children was 69.4% classified as severe level of the public health significant problem.
Anemia and micronutrient deficiencies are still common in Vietnamese children in urban, rural and mountainous areas. Effective solutions and interventions to fight against micronutrient deficiencies need to be continued to protect the children from all disorders caused by micronutrient deficiencies, including child stunting.