Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Health ministry ready to launch new strategy, aim to reduce stunting rates

Health ministry ready to launch new strategy, aim to reduce stunting rates

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Children are having meal at children’s restaurant in Phnom Penh in January. Hean Rangsey

Health ministry ready to launch new strategy, aim to reduce stunting rates

The Ministry of Health has developed a strategy called the “Communications Strategy to Change Attitudes to Improve Maternal, Infant and Young Children’s Nutrition in Cambodia” to achieve its goal of reducing the stunting rate to 19 per cent and increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding from birth to six months to 85 per cent by 2030.

The NGO Helen Keller International in Cambodia last week said the Kingdom had succeeded in reducing the stunting rate from 50 per cent in 2000 to 32 per cent in 2014, and improving the nutritional health of new mothers and their children in the last decade. However, the stunting rate was still high when compared to the scale of the country’s economic development, it said.

“This high stunting rate is a factor that threatens and hinders the sustainability of the country’s economic development, human resources and continued growth. Solving this problem is necessary if Cambodia is to achieve its sustainable development goals by 2030,” the NGO added.

Health ministry secretary of state Prak Sophorneary told reporters on April 22 that the ministry – in collaboration with partner organisations such as Helen Keller, UNICEF, World Health Organisation (WHO), and Alive and Thrive – had prepared the new communications strategy and would be launching it soon.

She added that the campaign will create posters and leaflets. The campaign will initially target key areas in seven provinces – Mondulkiri, Ratanakkiri, Stung Treng, Preah Vihear, Kratie, Kampong Chhnang and Koh Kong. The ministry will also launch the campaign in other provinces, with the assistance of partner organisations.

“We are targeting these provinces for this project as the results of a recent survey determined that they have the highest rates of malnutrition. These areas have a high number of indigenous people,” she said.

The focus of the communication strategy is on the golden opportunity of the first 1,000 days of life. It includes information on maternal nutrition and breastfeeding, complementary feeding and promoting the growth and development of infants and young children.

Hou Kroeun, deputy country director of Helen Keller International in Cambodia, said that as a nutrition partner of the ministry, he had given full support to the new strategy, which had been prepared carefully and comprehensively to turn impart knowledge and bring about practical changes in attitudes toward nutrition.

“I hope this campaign will improve the nutritional situation of mothers, infants and young children in the future,” he said.

Kroeun added that scientific studies have found that relationships to change attitudes through individual and social communications were highly effective at promoting healthy practices and changing people’s habits – in terms of nutritional choices as well as other health attitudes.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior