Despite rapid economic progress over the last 20 years, a concerning number of children in Vietnam still do not receive the nutrition they need. According to the World Health Organization, more than one-third of Vietnamese children under the age of 5 have stunted growth and 20 percent of children in the same age group are underweight.
To combat malnutrition in Vietnam, Abbott, the global health care company, and the Abbott Fund, its philanthropic foundation, have generously supported a school-based nutrition program in partnership with AmeriCares and the Giao Diem Humanitarian Foundation.
The partnership, which began in 2006 with 372 school children in rural villages, now assists 2,300 children annually. Each child receives nutritious soy milk and other locally available, protein-rich foods, in addition to daily multivitamins. During the rainy season, when soy milk production is limited due to flooding and electricity shortages, Abbott provides its pediatric nutritional supplement PediaSure® to help maintain the nutritional gains achieved during the first half of the school year. The results seen from this successful model have been significant – in 2008, the percent of malnourished children dropped from 35 percent to 30 percent. This program is just one example of the many ways Abbott partners with AmeriCares to improve health and save lives throughout the world.
Since 1986, Abbott has provided more than $500 million in medicines, nutritional supplements and medical supplies to people in need in more than 100 countries – including Survanta® for the prevention of respiratory distress syndrome in premature newborns in Kosovo. These donations support both AmeriCares ongoing health care programs as well as emergency shipments for Darfur refugees and survivors of major disasters like the 2008 Myanmar cyclone.
In addition to the tremendous volume of product donations, Abbott and the Abbott Fund have supported AmeriCares with cash grants including a $1 million donation in 2005 for tsunami relief efforts.