Vietnam's largest dairy producer, Vinamilk, has coordinated with the departments of education and training in the southern provinces of Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau and the northern province of Bac Ninh to launch the Milk in School during the new academic year.
As a result half of million students will be provided with free milk glasses at school. This is a meaningful activity in response to the program National Milk Glasses in Schools which was approved by the government.
As Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province is the first province to carry out the program which was launched in 2007, the rate of children under six years old suffering malnutrition of underweight drastically dropped from 10 percent in 2006 to 1.6 percent in 2015 and the rate of children suffering stunt declined from 4.7 percent in 2012 to 2.7 percent in 2015.
In Bac Ninh province, the first province in the North Vietnam to implement the program, the rate of children suffering malnutrition of underweight fell from 6.6 percent in 2013 to 2.3% in 2015 while the rate of stunted students slumped from 8 percent in 2013 to 3.8 percent in 2015.
Dong Nai Province is the one to carry out the program with large scale in preschools and primary schools. Though the province is large, the program achieved impressive success.
The rate of children underweight dropped from 9 percent in 2013 to 6.2 percent in 2015 and that of stunt fell from 10 percent to 7.5 percent from 2013 to 2015 respectively.
Additionally, the program has contributed to improve people’s awareness of drinking milk to the health and height of children, assure parents of quality and origin of dairy products and reduce the burden to buy milk for children.
A representative from the Ministry of Health said that the three provinces are the first provinces in the country to implement the program basically and they have achieved success. He expected the program will be carried out in other provinces to achieve the program’s set targets.
On its 40th anniversary of establishment, in 2016, Vinamilk decided to raise a fund worth VND14 billion (US$ 627,711) to support students in disadvantaged provinces across the country including the northern mountainous province of Lai Chau, Ha Giang, Dien Bien, Son La, Lao Cai, Cao Bang, Hoa Binh, Bac Kan, Lang Son, Yen Bai, Tuyen Quang, the highland provinces of Kon Tum, Gia Lai and the central province of Ninh Thuan.
In the framework of the program, in 2016, Vinamilk will liaise with administrations in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, Dong Nai, the central city of Da Nang, central provinces of Khanh Hoa, Quang Ngai, and Bac Ninh to implement the program in a bid to support students from low-income families. This year, Vinamilk will provide VND6 billion to programs in six provinces.