Over 4,000 acutely malnourished children receiving therapeutic food

An estimated over 4,000 acutely malnourished children in Vietnam will benefit every day for the next three months from ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) from the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The RUTF meets international standards and is in the form of a soft biscuit that provides all the energy and micro-nutrients required for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition. Source: UNICEF Vietnam/Truong Viet Hung

An estimated 10,000 children under 5 years old in nine affected provinces are suffering from acute malnutrition at this time, and their situation could further deteriorate with health-care services disrupted across the region.

“There’s no time to lose to get therapeutic food to the frontline health-care workers in communes to treat children suffering from malnutrition,” said Rana Flowers, UNICEF Representative to Vietnam.

“These acutely malnourished children cannot wait. With the downturn caused by COVID-19, many families in this region were already struggling to provide three nutritious meals a day, and the flooding has dramatically compounded their situation.”

In response to the devastating flood emergency in central Vietnam, UNICEF is providing life-saving relief to vulnerable children and women in the affected areas. UNICEF is ordering a total of 60 tons of  ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to be shipped to Vietnam in the coming weeks from its Supply Division in Copenhagen. 

The life-saving therapeutic food will be distributed to commune health centers through the National Institute of Nutrition (NIN). Coordinating with the Vietnamese Government and other agencies to reach all children in need, UNICEF will prioritize its therapeutic food to the most severely malnourished children, ensuring that they benefit immediately. An estimated over 4,000 acutely malnourished children in Vietnam will benefit every day for the next three months from this life-saving nutrition treatment.

“Children have been among the most affected by the recent natural disasters that have struck Vietnam. UNICEF is working with partners to bring emergency relief to affected children and women in central Vietnam, prioritizing access to clean water, sanitation facilities, health care, nutrition, education, psycho-social support and child protection”, added Flowers.

Tu Pham