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In 2004, AmeriCares began its fight against pediatric malnutrition in Vietnam, as an estimated 40% of the children under the age of five were underweight. AmeriCares continues to partner with Abbott to support an ongoing Pediatric Nutritional Program founded by a local NGO partner, The Giao Diem Foundation. The program provides children with daily enriched and nutritional diets; since it began, the percentage of participating underweight children dropped significantly, from 41% to 14%.
Yet as this nutritional program expands in scope to reach even more children, the need for resources increases.
Recently, AmeriCares and trusted partner, Abbott, donated nutritional supplies valued at over $400,000 that will benefit more than 2,000 children. Abbott has also committed over $100,000 to support parent and teacher training, daily monitoring programs and local procurement of materials. Working in coordination with local elementary schools, this program provides training for educators in the preparation of snacks made from affordable but nourishing local resources, and provides participating children with daily vitamins and nutritional supplements.
In addition to these school-based initiatives, AmeriCares currently provides nutritional supplements to more than 20 orphanages and programs for disabled children throughout Vietnam.
By supporting programs to improve the nutritional status of malnourished children with supplementary products and affordable local resources like soy and peanuts, as well as promoting nutritional education with the active involvement of parents and teachers in the continuation of the children’s health, these communities will eventually be empowered to help themselves.