Maternal Reports of Child Health Practices in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

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Objectives: To examine current rates of participation in several child health practices promoted in the 1980s in urban Vietnam as part of the GOBI (growth monitoring, oral rehydration therapy, breastfeeding, immunisation) initiative.

Methods: In the 1980s during the GOBI campaign, District 4 of Ho Chi Minh City offered community-based child health classes focused on the four GOBI areas. In 2008, 297 mothers of children aged 5 or younger in District 4 were interviewed about their child health practices.

Results: In total, 84% of mothers reported using a growth chart for their child, 56% reported treating diarrhoea with oral rehydration therapy, 75% reported breastfeeding their child for at least some duration, and 98% said their child had received at least one immunisation. Additionally, nearly all women reported treating drinking water, about three-quarters reported washing their hands regularly, over two-thirds reported using insecticides in the home, and just over half reported that they and their children slept under a bed net.

Conclusions: Mothers in the 2000s reported fairly high levels of adherence to the core child health practices promoted by the GOBI initiative in the 1980s. The rates of healthy parenting practices in this study appeared similar to those reported in the 1990s and higher than those from the early 1980s prior to the implementation of GOBI.

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Copyright © 2011, Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health.