Lao-American Nutrition Institute (LANI)
Nearly one in two children under the age of five in Laos are stunted (WFP.org), a fact that is unacceptable given the country's abundant access to fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. The use of ready to use supplemental foods, while important to address an immediate need for infants and children with severe acute malnutrition, has disappointingly not lowered the stunting rate in this age group, raising the need for innovative and local solutions to address this national priority.
Together with the Lao University Health Sciences and the US Department of Defense, OHSU is providing technical support to operate a Lao-American Nutrition Institute (LANI) where leading clinicians, nutritionists, and researchers can train local nutrition experts to study and initiate new approaches to improve the state of nutrition in Laos for the years to come. By late 2017, the LANI will be opened to the public with its vision, goals, strategic plan and teaching curriculum "ready to launch" and initiate collaborative projects tailored to address the malnutrition and food insecurity in the areas with the highest needs.
Education by OHSU to Lao nationals in nutrition will initially start with Lao Pediatricians and nurse midwives.