Acting against malnutrition of children in Ho Chi Minh City

Why get involved in the battle against child malnutrition?

In Vietnam, 3 million children (more than 1/3 of children under the age of 5) suffer from malnutrition[1].

Malnutrition is reflected by stunted growth but also, in contrast, by a high rate of child obesity – 13.2% under the age of 5 in the urban areas are obese – and the trend is on the rise.

Among the children at risk, those from migrant families of the most underprivileged districts. They have little access to basic health services operated by the State. About 20% of Vietnamese children still live under harsh conditions and the social actors struggle to cope with challenges such as malnutrition in Vietnam. Existing child protection services are often isolated, unregulated, and struggle to efficiently carry out their mission.

[1] According to the results of the National Institute of Nutrition in 2016.

How to reduce the risks of child malnutrition in Ho Chi Minh City?

Our goals:

  • Improve the nutritional practices of vulnerable families
  • Strengthen the competence of local authorities on nutrition education and population monitoring

In order to quickly identify the children at risk in districts 9 and Tan Phu, Planète Enfants & Développement has implemented a local system that is close to the people.

This system includes home visits, nutrition workshops, counseling at social services, and sessions on raising awareness.

Health and nutrition checkups are likewise offered each month for children ages 0 to 5, in collaboration with local partners – the Center of Disadvantaged Children (CDED) and the Social Work Center for Children (CTSE). Identified malnourished children benefit from the follow-ups done by social workers.

Simultaneously, we train the social workers on organizing nutrition checkups and hosting sessions on raising awareness.

The results of the plan showed the effectiveness of the project in 2018:

  • 1,119 children under ages 5 have benefited from health checkups
  • 46 children have received dietary supplements
  • 82 families have obtained health insurance

Our Recipients

Direct recipients between January and June 2019:

  • 4 social workers of the Social Work Center for Children have been trained to diagnose symptoms of malnutrition and to follow up on those children
  • 772 vulnerable children under age 5 have received health checkups
  • 93 children have been diagnosed with malnutrition and are being monitored
  • 1 cooking class for families of malnourished children has been organized in each district
Districts 9 and Tan Phu of Ho Chi Minh City

Our Local Partners

  • The Center of Disadvantaged Children (CDED)– coordinates projects for development and social services
  • The Social Work Center for Children (CTSE)– coordinates target measures to improve child protection in Ho Chi Minh City. It establishes and defines the operation of advice points, coordinates specialists offering their services for child protection, and organizes activities to raise awareness. PE&D has been collaborating with the Social Work Center for Children since 2014.