Search form

Login - Register | FOLLOW US ON

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Campaign targets malnourished children

Campaign targets malnourished children

120427_05b

It could save the government more than US$100 million a year, and all it takes is a few spoonfuls a day.

{jathumbnail}

This is the message from UNICEF and its government partners at today’s launch of the campaign to promote complementary feeding for Cambodian children aged between six and 24 months.

According to a 2010 study, 40 per cent of children in the Kingdom below the age of five years were chronically malnourished (stunted), 11 per cent acutely malnourished (wasted) and 28 per cent underweight, UNICEF nutrition specialist Joel Conkle told the Post by email yesterday.

“It is caused by the inability to afford nutritious food, high rates of infectious diseases and inappropriate feeding practices,” Conkle said.

“Child malnutrition today will have serious long-term consequences for the health of the Cambodian population and for its economic development.

The campaign aims to have mothers and caretakers feed their young children home-made, multi-ingredient rice porridge several times a day to support physical and cognitive development.

Currently, when young children are no longer breastfed, they will eat what the rest of the family eats – which is usually too liquidy and low in nutrition to support the child’s growth.

“In Cambodia, it is estimated that the country loses over $146 million in GDP to vitamin and mineral deficiencies every year,” Conkle said.

“Child malnutrition presents a heavy economic burden on Cambodia’s health system in terms of child health outcomes and adult chronic disease.”

UNICEF states that in order to make children healthy, strong and smart, mothers and caretakers need to provide improved complementary feeding to children six to 24 months of age by feeding them rice porridge that contains food items from all three food groups (vegetable, protein and carbohydrates) and ensure that the food is thick enough to stay on a spoon.

The campaign will include a nationwide education and training to deliver this message to all households.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bridget Di Certo at bridget.dicerto@phnompenhpost.com

0

Comments

Please, login or register to post a comment

Latest Video

Google Angkor

Google's 3D Angkor online

Drawing on over one million photos, Google has taken the Angkor Wat temple complex into the digital realm, allowing anyone with internet access to enjoy 360-degree panoramic views of 100 of the ancient temples.

97' grenade attack commemoration

Back in the streets

Thousands of CNRP supporters march through Phnom Penh

This month 20 years ago...

1994-04-08 07:00
Thais to plant border listening devices
1994-04-08 07:00
Power politics and moving KR refugees
1994-03-25 07:00
Violent image still poses problem in Hong Kong
1994-03-25 07:00
Funcinpec's evaporating mandate
1994-04-08 07:00
Judiciary row splits House
1994-03-25 07:00
Inflation reduced