235325 Vietnam – Improvements in child nutrition and development achieved through parent peer-support groups and community/local action

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 2:30 PM

Tran Van Thong, MD MPH , Health Team, Plan Vietnam, Hue city, Vietnam
Jillian Scott, MPH , Field Support Unit, Plan International USA, Washington, DC
BACKGROUND – Children from ethnic minority groups living in remote and mountainous areas of Vietnam have the highest rate of malnutrition in the country and are particularly affected by stunting and low development status. THE PROJECT - Since 2008, Plan International, a child-centered community development organization, has implemented a comprehensive child health and development program aimed at 27,000 under-five children in 49 remote communes of six provinces inhabited by ethnic minorities. Child nutrition and early stimulation activities are implemented through peer-support groups of parents of under-five children, complemented by training for commune and village health workers and preschool teachers. Regular meetings of parent groups enhance awareness on child nutrition and development, facilitate self-assessments, foster exchange of best practices (positive deviance), provide opportunity for cooking demonstrations with local ingredients, promote hygiene and child stimulation practices, and enhance participation of leaders from communes and local governments. Community volunteers, health workers and pre-school teachers are trained on the prevention, case management and referral of malnourished children, and also on promotion of child stimulation practices. RESULTS - (1) Reduced chronic malnutrition rates by 1.5 - 2% annually amongst 27,000 ethnic minority children; (2) Reached over 20,000 women in pregnancy and/or with under-two children with face-to-face activities on child nutrition and stimulation; 3) Established 185 parents groups; and (4) Enhanced capacities of health workers and pre-school teachers in 49 communes. NEXT STEPS –Plan will scale up this integrated child health and development program in the 15 provinces where it operates in the country.

Learning Areas:
Diversity and culture
Provision of health care to the public
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To discuss the importance of community-based approach to successfully promote growth and development in developing countries.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I implemented the projec described in this paper.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.