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News detail:

A special event, TALK ABOUT NUTRITION, was organized by the National Nutrition Programme (NNP/MoH) and development partners on Monday 24th March 2008 at the National Mother and Child Health Center (NMCHC) with the following objectives:


  • To present and discuss the findings from the recent international study "Lancet Series on Maternal and Children under nutrition"
  • To inform about the current nutritional situation in Cambodia and the outline/objectives new "National Nutrition Strategy (NNS 2008-2015)" of the MoH
  • To discuss implication of the Lancet's Series on maternal and child nutrition for Cambodia and to demonstrate the need for a stronger consideration of nutrition in overall development

The Lancets series revealed that: - child and maternal undernutrition contribute significantly to child death (more than 35%) and the global disease burden. - Undernutrition leads further to reduced cognitive development of children and affects by this the human resources basis of societies. - There is a critical time "window" for interventions (until 24 month of age) and the consequences of under nutrition can not be corrected later on. - There is sufficient evidence on a set of interventions which are working in all situations (promotion of breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding, micronutrient supplementation for children and mothers, appropriate management of severe acute malnutrition ...) and - theses interventions needs to be implemented at large scale to make a significant difference.

The overall nutrition situation of children in Cambodia has improved over the last years and some interventions (like promotion of exclusive breastfeeding or universal salt iodization) were very successful. However, with 42.6 % of children under 5 being chronic malnourished/stunted (using CDHS 2005 data with the new WHO standards on cut-off points) the situation remains critical and demands further attention.

The panel discussion focused on the implications of the "Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Undernutrition" for Cambodia. It was underlined by speakers that the ongoing activities of the National Nutrition Program (NNP) are already very much in line with the recommendations of the Lancet's study and the new National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) of MoH will incorporate further findings and recommendations of the study. However, it is necessary to scale up successful interventions on child and maternal undernutrition to reach more mothers and children in Cambodia and to achieve a larger impact. A repositioning of nutrition in development and overarching development plans (NSDP) as well as increased funding are therefore essential for the future. Public sensitization on the issue and strong advocating involving relevant Government institution and development partners are important.

Prof. Oum Kanal the director of the NMCHC underlined, that awareness creation leading to positive changes in nutritional behavior and practices of people in Cambodia is crucial and the capacities for nutrition within the health sector (and beyond) needs to be improved.

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National Nutrition Program

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