National Information Platforms for Nutrition (NIPN) is an initiative of the European Commission aimed at providing support to countries in strengthening their nutrition information systems as well as improving data analysis to inform policy and strategic decisions in addressing malnutrition and its consequences.

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Lao PDR - Nutrition at a glance

Why is it important to invest in nutrition ?

Malnutrition accounts for approximately half of all under 5 mortality globally
Investments in nutrition improves human and economic capital by ensuring that children grow to their fullest growth potential; will be productive in adult life and will be able to contribute to the country's development.

What causes malnutrition and how to improve it ?

Malnutrition is caused by a range of complex and inter-related factors. The interplay of these factors at the individual level results in infection and inadequate dietary intake (immediate causes). These are influenced by household food access, health seeking behaviours and infant and young child feeding practices (underlying causes).

In Lao PDR, almost all children who are too short for their age (stunted) suffer from multiple and overlapping deprivations such as inadequate housing and sanitation, lack access to health, nutrition and education.

About 60,000 children under 5 years are at risk of death due to acute malnutrition annually from inadequate dietary intake and childhood illness. Additionally, 1 out of 2 children are anaemic due to poor nutrition and helminthes infections.

A holistic and multi-sectoral approach is required in addressing the complex mix of determinants of malnutrition. Investments in interventions which directly impact nutrition outcomes with complimentary interventions that indirectly relate to nutrition are required. Effective multi-sectoral coordination for synergy in programme design and implementaion are required. Strengthening the capacity of individual sectors to implement nutrition related interventions through human resource allocation for nutrition; increased public sector financing for nutrition and monitoring of results are essential.

  • Factors associated with malnutrition:
    Poor nutrition and lack
    of access to diverse foods
    Poor hygiene and
    Sanitation practices
    Inadequate healthcare
    for children and their mothers.
    Inadequate psychosocial
    stimulation and/or parent-infant bonding.
  • The lifetime costs of stunting to children :
    Stunting makes children more
    susceptible to disease and infections
    Stunting can reduce IQ
    by as much as eleven percent of each points
    Children who are stunted earn 22 %
    less as compared to nonstunted children in their adulthood
    Stunting also has long term negative
    consequence on health including future generations

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Government of Lao PDR