Dr. Pham Van Tan, Vice President and Secretary General of the Vietnam Union of Science-Technology Associations (VUSTA), said public health care has received special attention from the Party and State.

However, there are still many problems in the sector, including inadequate attention to the mobilization of social resources and well as the promotion of social organizations and the private sector in the field, Tan said.

He hoped the conference will help connect social organizations and State agencies in caring for public health, while seeking solutions and policy recommendations to enhance the engagement and contributions of social organizations in the work.

Meanwhile, Do Thi Van, Director of the Non-governmental Organizations-Information Center (NGO-IC) cited a VUSTA report showing the union’s member social organizations mobilized about VND 1.23 trillion, including 213 non-Government aided projects and more than USD 32 million in 11 official development assistance (ODA) projects, mostly in public health and environmental protection for ethnic minorities and vulnerable groups.

Photo: baocantho.com.vn

She said that despite their strength in wide networks, experts and creativity, social associations have faced difficulties in connections with each other and partners, as well as an incomplete legal environment.

In the future, VUSTA should strengthen its role in connecting and promoting the associations’ engagement in public health and environment projects, while giving recommendations to State agencies on completing policies to ensure equality in accessing State funds.

Dao Lan Huong from the World Bank in Vietnam said the malnutrition ratio in Vietnam has reduced considerably in the past two decades, but the ratio among ethnic minority groups is always higher than those from the majority Kinh group.

She explained that ethnic minority people accounted for 73 percent of the poor community in 2016, adding that obstacles in language are the major difficulty in connecting public health service providers with ethnic minorities.

She stressed the need to define nutrition for ethnic minorities as a priority.

At the conference, held by VUSTA and NGO-IC, participants also shared effective models and initiatives in improving public health and environment, as well as ways to enhance efficiency of social organizations in the field.

Source: VNA