Nutrition plays an important role in society’s overall health and development, yet malnutrition and stunting are still prevalent especially in developing countries. In Vietnam, the stunting rate or the number of children under 5 years old suffering from poor height for their age was 23.2% according to 2018 statistics from the National Institute of Nutrition of Vietnam.
The numbers put Vietnam and its children at risk and have resulted in several detrimental effects such a poor learning, low income, and productivity. To help raise people’s awareness on early recognition, proper preparation, and treatment of malnutrition and stunting, Merck Vietnam in partnership with Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), The Vietnamese Association of Diabetes and Endocrinology (VADE), and ASSIST launched the Happy Vietnam project last January 17 in Ho Chi Minh City.
The Happy Vietnam project will be held in 7 provinces across the country, which include areas with high cases of stunting and malnutrition in children such as Cao Bang, Ha Giang, Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Dak Nong, Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City. Through the project, training programs on “Nutri-Eating” or Nutritional Eating will be administered for parents, teachers, and healthcare personnel while medical examinations will be conducted amongst potentially stunted children in mentioned provinces.
“We hope and believe that with continuous efforts and cooperation from the government, authorities, businesses, and individuals, the importance of health care, awareness, and prevention from stunting and malnutrition in children will be enhanced, thus reducing the rate of children suffering from this disease,” Prof. Dr. Dang Huu Tran, President of the Vietnamese Association of Diabetes and Endocrinology (VADE) said in his statement.
The project will commence starting from July 2020 and is scheduled to run for two years. For more details about Happy Vietnam, please contact Ms. Phan Thanh Thủy, Project Management Office – Mekong Region at [email protected].