Nutrition

Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, health and development.

ັA male health worker takes child's measurement of upper arm circumference (MUAC)
UNICEF Laos/Noorani

Challenges

Malnutrition is linked to nearly half of the deaths of children under five. 

Most child deaths are preventable or treatable with high-impact, low-cost interventions, such as immunization, nutrition and child health services. The impact of these interventions on child health varies greatly depending on socio-economic group, ethnicity, geographical location and the educational level of the parents.

Stunting is the silent scourge of many children throughout Lao PDR, affecting around 33% of children under five years of age, as per LSIS II data.

Stunted growth causes underdeveloped brains and bodies if children do not get the right type or amount of nutrients from food within the crucial first 1,000 days.    

Our Nutrition programme works at national and local levels to ensure effective, high-impact policies exist to increase child survival and help make children and their families healthier, particularly the most vulnerable and disadvantaged.

A mother and her son at a UNICEF-supported nutrition event
UNICEF Laos/2017/Saykoson
A mother and her son at a UNICEF-supported nutrition event in the Savannakhet province, Lao PDR

Solutions

UNICEF's support focuses on scaling up nutrition-specific interventions such as exclusive breastfeeding, complementary feeding, ensuring access to essential vitamins and minerals (Vitamin A, iron folic acid, multiple micronutrient powders, iodized salt), deworming, and management of acute malnutrition.

UNICEF supports nutrition-sensitive interventions and interventions related to water, sanitation and hygiene.

UNICEF strengthens governance by providing policy and programme advice on global and country-specific evidence and multi-sectoral approaches.

In 2015, the Ministry of Health launched the revised National Nutrition Strategy and Plan of Action in order to deliver an integrated package of maternal, newborn and child health interventions that includes internationally recommended actions to reduce all forms of malnutrition.

More Information