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Cambodia launches campaign to reduce child malnutrition

PHNOM PENH, April 27 (Xinhua) — Cambodia on Friday launched a campaign to promote complementary feeding for children of 6-24 months, aiming at ensuring young children can receive adequate nutrition from the combination of baby food and breast milk.

Speaking at the launch, Eng Huot, secretary of state at the Ministry of Health, said that based on a study in 2010, 40 percent of under five-year-olds had chronic malnutrition (stunted), 11 percent are acutely malnourished (wasted) and 28 percent are underweight.

“Malnutrition in children is still one of serious public health problems and one of the main causes of child mortality in Cambodia, ” he said.

He said that the campaign will contribute to improving the nutritional status of Cambodian children by increasing the rate of appropriate complementary feeding practices of infants and toddlers.

“It is to educate mothers and caregivers to feed their young children with multi-ingredient rice porridge several times a day to support their physical and cognitive development,” he said.

Khun Sokrin, director of the National Center for Health Promotion, said that the campaign will be conducted in nine selected provinces including Kampong Speu, Kampong Thom, Svay Rieng, Stung Treng, Battambang, Pursat, Banteay Meanchey, Kampot and Kampong Cham.

The campaign will be made through interpersonal communication to be carried out by health officials and midwives, and through mass media including TV spots, radio spots, and the distribution of posters, leaflets, banners and T-shirts.

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