This month we’re sharing stories about Vietnam in support of our Vietnam Malnutrition Appeal.  This short story was shared with us by ChildFund New Zealand Programmes Coordinator Sally Hewlett.  She spent a few weeks visiting ChildFund projects in Vietnam before beginning a cycling journey across the country with her sister.

Severely malnourished 18 month old Lao

Sally writes:

“This little boy I met yesterday is 18 months old – and severly malnourished. His name is Lao. His height is 74cms and weight is 8.9kgs – less than a friend’s son when he was 10 months old.

Lao and his mum attend ChildFund nutritional training

This is him with his mum attending nutritional training (and trying some of the food they are taught how to prepare for kids), checking his weight and height – height check is new – they used to just check weight. The scales used previously were old, provided by the government, but the ones they have now give more accurate figures.

Lao’s height being measured

At the end of this day, the district health worker gave me the updated results from checking 36 kids.

  • 41% were underweight
  • 52% were under height
  • 13 children were both underweight and under height

In total, 21 out of the 36 kids or 58% were malnourished. That is a lot!”

Unfortunately Lao is just one of many children in Vietnam whose families are unable to provide them with nutritional food.  The danger of prolonged malnourishment is not just that children like Lao may grow up to be smaller – their intellectual development may be damaged as well.  We must act now to give these children the gift of a healthy life.

Severely malnourished Lao gets weighed

ChildFund New Zealand needs your help to provide nutritious food to 150 toddlers in Cao Bang, Vietnam. Help protect a child from the danger of hunger and please give generously.

For more information about malnutrition in Vietnam, please visit our Vietnam Malnutrition Appeal page.

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