Tuesday, November 1, 2016
Vietnam - Developing national nutritional guidelines for pregnant women and lactating mothers
In order to enhance the health of women of reproductive age and and the stature of Vietnamese people, the Ministry of Health has launched the “Improvement of nutritional status for pregnant women and lactating mothers” project. On 21 September 2016, the Vietnam Ministry of Health and Abbott, the global healthcare company, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to kick start the project.
Nutritional deficiencies in pregnant mothers can mean increased risks for children. The nutritional status of women during pregnancy can have significant impacts on fetal, infant and child health status. Proper nutrition for mothers can also support breast milk production.
Micronutrient deficiencies of calcium, iron, vitamin A and iodine, for example, can lead to poor maternal health status, adversely affecting mothers and unborn babies. Poor maternal weight gain in pregnancy due to inadequate diet increases the risk of premature delivery, low birth weight and birth defects.
Malnutrition stunting the growth of Vietnamese children under 5 years old is still at a high level. This is partly caused by nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy and lactation. As reported by the National Institute of Nutrition, the rate of stunting due to malnutrition in Vietnamese children was 24.6% in 2015; the rate of zinc deficiency in pregnant women was 80.3%, and that of anemia was 32.8%. The leading cause of anemia and micronutrient deficiencies in pregnant women is inadequate maternal nutrition.
Improve health and stature of Vietnamese people
The National Strategy on Nutrition for 2011 - 2020 and the national vision to 2030 approved by the Prime Minister identified that providing early nutritional intervention for women of reproductive age, pregnant women and during the golden period of the child’s first 1.000 days -- beginning at the start of a woman’s pregnancy -- is essential to improve physical stature.
For this reason, the Ministry and Abbott came together on September 21 in Hanoi to sign a Memorandum of Understanding to implement the “Improvement of nutritional status for pregnant women and lactating mothers” project.
The project will focus on activities including: developing national nutritional guidelines for pregnant women and lactating mothers; enhancing nutritional knowledge for health care staff and members of the Vietnam Women's Union through implementation of national nutritional guidelines for pregnant women and lactating mothers; and other similar initiatives.
National nutritional guidelines for pregnant women and lactating mothers will be developed and applied across Vietnam. These guidelines will be based on clinical research findings and will become the scientific basis for health care professionals, pregnant women and lactating mothers to practice good nutrition. This will ensure the health of mothers and children and support breastfeeding and a strong foundation for the child's health throughout their lives.
The Ministry and Abbott will also implement the “Improvement of clinical nutritional quality in hospitals in Vietnam” project to improve inpatients’ health and the efficiency of clinical treatment in hospitals.
"These two projects will also contribute to a faster decline of stunting due to malnutrition," Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Viet Tien said.
Abbott is a global health care company which has brought new products and technologies to the world -- in nutrition, diagnostics, medical devices and branded generic pharmaceuticals -- to create more possibilities for people at all stages of life. Abbott has implemented several programs to improve the quality of clinical nutrition and breastfeeding in Vietnam.
“As a science-based healthcare company, we are dedicated to helping people live the best and fullest life possible. The agreements we signed with the Ministry of Health reinforces Abbott’s continued commitment to the country – to bring practical and relevant guidelines to healthcare professionals, enhance the community's quality of life, and improve public healthcare in Vietnam in the long term,” said Douglas Kuo, General Manager of Abbott Vietnam.