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In many developing countries, iron deficiency and the anaemia( 1) it may cause remain a serious public health problem. Mostly affecting women and young children - over 2 billion people worldwide - it can lead to an increased risk of mortality for mothers and infants in the case of severe anaemia. Recommended treatments have only led to slight improvements worldwide, particularly among pregnant women( 2). This is due to excessively delayed intervention during pregnancy, but also to the effect of increased doses of iron - on a daily basis - that provoke side effects such as nausea and vomiting. This creates problems for ongoing treatment as well as a risk of haemoconcentration( 3) and delayed foetal growth.
Studies carried out in Vietnam by the National Institute of Nutrition in Hanoi and IRD researchers has shown that iron supplements in lower doses are more effective. Administered at an earlier date - several months before pregnancy - and on a daily basis, they can avoid such problems.
Food enriched with iron – in low doses – has also displayed promising results. Locally produced, it could provide protection at a minimal cost for a large section of the population.
The Red River is the second largest river in Vietnam after the Mekong, providing a livelihood for nearly one third of the country’s population, including the inhabitants of the capital Hanoi. A centuries-old river management system is in place, which controls both the river’s violent floods and water availability.
Over the last 10 years, with the backing of international institutions and donors, the Vietnamese government has established a new water governance structure. Three River Basin Organizations, including the Red River Basin Organization, were superimposed over pre-existing authorities, leading to a greater complexity of water management. The IRD and International Water Management Institute scientists studying the water sector reorganization in Vietnam have shown the lack of effectiveness of this reform. The reorganization, disconnected from established structures, has proved to be disappointing: pricing water resources did not produce the expected benefits, integrated river basin management is proving to be difficult to implement, conflicts have emerged between various authorities… In the long term, this confusion may have a positive effect by triggering some changes, and this study demonstrates that reforms in the water sector must take into account existing management structures.
With 25 million of its people pulled out from deprivation and one of the world’s fastest growth rates, in less than 20 years Vietnam has seen a spectacular decrease in poverty. IRD scientists from the research unit UMR Développement, institutions et mondialisation
1) and their partners(
2) have studied this success story. The great economic reform Doi Moi
3) or “Renovation”, was launched in 1986 and was the stimulus behind the country’s growth. Subsequently the country implemented measures for budget redistribution from the richer regions to the poorer ones and targeted financial aid schemes for the most deprived sections of society.
Working people’s economic insecurity is a persistent problem, however. This is one of the remaining gloomy sides of the Vietnamese economy. Many work in the informal( 4) sector. In fact currently there are more than 10 million operating as street vendors, tradesmen or involved in other informally organized occupations. Such activities represent 50 % of the country’s labour market, agriculture excepted.
The main challenges now are to reduce inequality even further and beat insecurity. Tackling these would enable Vietnam to reach the level of the industrialized countries.
The past five years in Viet Nam have seen a progressive increase in the proportion of male births owing to a rise in selective abortions. This has recently been proved by a joint investigation by an IRD researcher and Vietnamese partners. Analyses were made of data from annual demographic ...
The research presented in the three videos here below was implemented from 1998 to 2003 by the Mountain Agrarian Systems (SAM) Program, a joint research project of the Vietnam Agricultural Science Institute (VASI), the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).