Nutrition Activities Help Lop Become Healthy

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“I am very happy to participate in this activity because Lop gained weight. Before his weight was 9 kg and now he is 11 kg,” Sao shared with a smile.

In Laos, malnutrition is very high for children under 5 years old. Many communities do not have the knowledge or awareness about malnutrition. They do not realize that the lack of food, unclean cooking methods, and eating foods with low nutrient-value contributes to malnutrition.

“I didn’t know that my son Lop, 3, was malnourished, says Sao, a 30-year-old single mother of 4, “I did not have time to take care of my children because I work on the farm to support my family.”

Her main occupation is as a rice farmer, but the rice harvest was not enough to provide the family with enough for the entire year.

In 2012, the World Vision Laos Health Project received funds from World Vision Canada to implement a programme called PD Hearth in two districts in Khammouane Province.

PD Hearth is an activity used to help communities find ways to overcome and cope with the problem of child malnutrition, focusing on childrenunder 5.

How does the PD Hearth Programme work?


Each mother is asked to bring from home a food-item to share, and then the instructors demonstrate and cook a nutritious meal especially for the children.

Foods inlcuding frogs, morning glory, rice, cassava, spring onion, spinach and coconut were brought by the mothers to the session.

Mothers also learn about feeding babies, health education, and how to play with children for their development.

The women and their children are required to attend all 12 days, and on the last day the children are weighed to assess their improvement. Normal programme standards expect children to gain at least 200g.

Parents continue to practice what they learn and after two weeks World Vision staff and health workers follow-up to weigh the children again. If they are not gaining weight, the parents are asked to bring their children back to the programme for another 12 days.

They need to gain another 200 grams in the two weeks, and in each day the programme will take 2-3 hours in 12 days of activity to demonstrate and cook a nutritions meal for the children

In Jakhoun village, World Vision health staff, together with the government district health office, conducted PD Hearth activities for parents andchildren designated as malnourished.

“I have learned how to cook for my child, especially using our food that we have at home. I also learned about child vaccination, and monitoring my child’s weight,” says Sao.

“I ​​think the 12-day course is beneficial to the health of children. If our children start losing weight we will know immediately because of the monitor,”Sao, adds.

I am very happy to participate in this activity because Lop gained weight. Before his weight was 9 kg and now he is 11 kg,” Sao shared with a smile.

Sao will continue to practice at home what she learned at the PD Health project and supplement Lop’s diet with nutritious food like banana, small fish, and crab.

News Source : Nutrition Activities Help Lop Become Healthy

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