Happy Vietnam Project – Health Awareness, Prevention And Protection From Stunting In Children

Published date 05/03/2020

Project background:


Stunting is considered one of the significant obstacles to human development, especially for developing countries like Vietnam. According to statistics of the National Institute of Nutrition, the stunting rate of children under the age of 5 in 2019 was 22.4%. This rate also varies relatively among regions, especially between mountainous and minority communities compared to cities and deltas. The rate for this in the Northern Mountainous region is 27.1% and 29.8% in the Central Highlands. There are many causes behind stunting, including fetal malnutrition caused by mother’s poor diet or insufficient intake of essential nutrients during pregnancy; malnutrition in the first years of life and childhood due to anorexia, improper diet, or caused by illnesses or diseases such as infections, growth hormone deficiency, etc.

The high stunting rate compared to other countries in the region has led to certain disadvantages for Vietnam, including learning difficulties among children, low income, as well as restraining the country’s productivity and overall growth.

With the above context, Happy Vietnam project was established to reduce the stunting rate of Vietnamese children through activities that spread public knowledge of proper diet & nutrition, child development, and lay groundworks for early preparation and symptoms recognition, as well as proper treatment when children exhibit signs of stunting and malnutrition.


Project objectives:


The overall goal of the project is to reduce the stunting rate in children among Vietnamese minority communities through training and counseling programs in an attempt to improve the capacity of teachers, parents, and health care personnel. The project scope includes 7 provinces and cities: Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Kon Tum, Gia Lai, Dak Nong, Lao Cai, Ha Giang.

Specific objectives include:


200 Health care personnel trained in early symptoms recognition, diagnosing, and preventing stunting and malnutrition in children.


1300 Primary school teachers trained about normal child growth standards to ensure physical health for students.


3600 Parents trained about normal child growth standards as well as child health care.


3600 Children from provinces and cities under the project scope undergo medical screening and health checks.


The Happy Vietnam project is co-financed by DEG – German Investment Corporation and MERCK – one of the world’s leading multinational pharmaceutical companies. ASSIST NGO is responsible for the implementation of the project and is supported by the Vietnam Association of Endocrinology and Diabetes. HAPPY Vietnam project will be taken place from the end of 2020 to the beginning of 2022.