The ministry has implemented a comprehensive set of measures to step up supervision of mother and child health care establishments, including private clinics; provide professional support for local-level hospitals to reduce obstetrical emergencies; provide training on midwifery and essential care for newborns; and improve the skills of midwives in rural villages.
Maternal and child health services have been expanded at rural communes and districts nationwide between 2011 and 2015, especially essential services such as caesarean section, blood transfusion and care of the preterm and low-birth-weight newborns, in an effort to help reduce maternal and neonatal morality rates.
Skilled attendance at birth was 98.2 percent and about 90 percent of mothers and newborns received postnatal care during the first week.
More than 1,730 village-based midwives have been trained for the improvement of maternal and child care in far-flung areas.
The country has also lowered the number of children suffering acute malnutrition from 17.5 percent in 2010 to 14.1 percent last year, while the rate of children with chronic malnutrition dropped to 24 percent last year from 29.3 percent in 2010.
Since the Law on Marriage and Family legalised surrogacy on January 1 last year, as many as 65 successful surrogacy operations have been recorded, including 46 in the Hanoi-based Central Maternity Hospital and 19 in the Ho Chi Minh-based Tu Du Hospital.
The first surrogate baby was born at the Central Maternity Hospital on January 22, weighing 3.6 kilogrammes, while another 10 surrogate babies are expected in the next three months.
In 2016, the health sector plans to continue improving the quality of mother and child care as well as recovery practices in obstetrics and expanding the network of trained village-based midwives in remote areas where out-dated midwifery practices are still common.