Ministry of Health represented by Lao Tropical and Public Health Institute signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with The Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Australia on Monday 4th June 2018 to officially launch the research study as a cluster-randomized controlled trial to evaluate the effectiveness of a mixed nutrition intervention of an integrated package of community-based nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions to provide evidence in reducing child under nutrition in Lao People’s Democratic Republic for national scale up.

Vientiane province was selected as study site to conduct a cluster randomized controlled trial using randomisation approach and 38 health centres serving 256 villages with a total population of 224,200 residents of six districts namely Kasi, Vangvieng, Feuang, Mad, Hinherb, and Meun will be selected for  intervention arm, which will receive a package of nutrition-specific interventions in addition to the standard primary health care services mandated by the Ministry of Health; and A control arm, which will only receive the standard primary health care services.

Nutrition specific interventions were applied to this project hoping to address the immediate determinants of foetal and child nutrition: (i) adequate food and nutrient intake and (ii) control of infectious diseases. They encompass exclusive breastfeeding promotion, complementary feeding, micronutrient supplementation and food fortification, maternal health and nutrition, dietary diversification, deworming, treatment of severe wasting, and the management of infectious diseases. In contrast, nutrition-sensitive interventions address the underlying determinants: (i) food security; (ii) social and care behaviours at maternal, household and community levels; and (iii) health environment and health services.

This research study will last four years and expected to start from 2018 to 2021. This study is funded by the National Medical and Research Council, Australian Government through the Macfarlane Burnet Institute for Medical Research and Public Health, Australia.

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