Making news

HCM City launches school milk programme

More than 300,000 kindergarten and first-grade students in 10 HCM City districts will benefit from a school milk programme launched on October 31.

The programme will first be piloted in Thu Duc, Tan Phu, Binh Tan, Cu Chi, Hoc Mon, Nha Be, Can Gio, Binh Chanh districts, and Districts 9 and 12 before being expanded city-wide.

The Vietnam Dairy Products Joint Stock Company (Vinamilk) will provide the milk for the programme, which will be implemented at all public and private kindergartens and primary schools and private creches.

Each child will receive five 180ml cartons of milk per week.

The cost will be borne by the city, enterprises and the parents of the children in a ratio of 30 percent, 20 percent and 50 percent.

But disadvantaged children will get the milk for free.

Nguyen Huu Hung, Deputy Director of the municipal Department of Health, said the average height of Vietnamese is less than that of other nationalities in Asia and elsewhere.

Nutrition plays an important role in a population’s height, he said, adding the programme will have an effect on children's height and also improve their physique and health.

Bui Thi Diem Thu, deputy head of the Department of Education and Training, said the programme will help improve the nutritional status of children, reducing the rate of malnutrition, and contribute to human resources development.

It aims to raise public awareness of the importance of nutrition to children's healthy growth and development, school meals and the use of milk and dairy products.

About 80 percent of schools in the designated districts with 53 percent of their student population have registered to participate in the programme.

The department and Vinamilk have organised training for doctors, health workers, teachers, and parents in those districts.

Some 60 countries in the world run school milk programmes, while 17 cities and province in Vietnam do.