Aid in Vietnam to Focus on Nutrition

Clinical nutrition should be a focus for international organizations working in Vietnam. This is according to Suki McClatchey, manager of Abbott’s global citizenship and policy department, who spoke Tuesday (Sept. 28) in Washington at the Business Civic Leadership Council’s 2010 Global Corporate Citizenship Conference.

During a panel discussion focusing on the needs in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, McClatchy outlined the work Abbott is doing with its partners, as well as what needs to be done.

“Our model is based on the need to address clinical nutrition in hospitals across the county. For it to be successful, we need to be able to engage experts on local health partners,” McClatchey said.

Abbott has had a presence in Vietnam for 15 years and just recently identified the nutritional health gap. Currently, the plan for narrowing the gap calls for bringing four different partners together: Boston University, the National Institute for Nutrition, Bach Mae Hospital in Vietnam and Hanoi Medical University. McClatchey described local involvement as being “phenomenal.” She noted that the partnership was in the process of collecting data on 700 patients.

The partnership’s first goal will be to use the data to establish a baseline for nutrition in the nation. The next step will be to publish a quantification of that data that will lead to a game plan for addressing the need for health care in the country.

McClatchey said that the Vietnam nutritional game plan is modeled after a similar program that was devised and implemented in rural China.

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