U.S. Supports Better Nutrition in Laos

Participants at the nutrition workshop in Luang Prabang on March 16-18.
Participants at the nutrition workshop in Luang Prabang on March 16-18.

With support from the U.S. Science Envoy Program, experts in child nutrition from Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar and Australia will come together to address child nutrition challenges and kick-start a process of scientific advancement in Southeast Asia. U.S. Science Envoy Dr. Geraldine Richmond will facilitate the first regional conference entitled “Developmental Neuroscience and Stunting: A Strong Case for Action in the First 1000 Days Workshop” in Luang Prabang on March 16-18.  

This is the first of three regional conferences which will take place in the different countries involved. The aim is to build awareness in the scientific community about advances in chronic malnutrition, identify intervention strategies, and create a plan to reduce malnutrition in the region by 2020.  This conference will also help build a regional network of research professionals interested in collaboration in the area of malnutrition and brain development.  This network of collaborators will help guide research in this area in Southeast Asia and also be involved in developing strategies to educate policy makers and leaders in the communities about factors that are contributing to childhood stunting in the first 1,000 days of children’s life. 

The U.S. Science Envoy Program is one element of the United States’ commitment to global engagement in science and technology. President Obama announced the program in Cairo in June 2009. This is Dr. Richmond’s third trip to Laos and fourth trip to Southeast Asia as a U.S. Science Envoy.

Dr. Richmond is the Presidential Chair of Chemistry at the University of Oregon, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. She is a recent recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor given by the U.S. government to scientists, engineers and inventors. She is president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Presidential appointee to the National Science Board. Dr. Richmond, who has dedicated a considerable part of her to career to boosting the role of women in science and engineering, is the founder and chair of Committee on the Advancement of Women Chemists (COACh), a grass-roots organization that provides professional training and networking for more than 12,000 women scientists in the United States and developing countries. 

Lao Version (PDF 186KB)