Seminar on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition

Bangkok, Thailand
Holiday Inn Sukhumvit


In 2014, WHO published a report on the Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 to 2013. The maternal mortality ratio in Southeast Asia countries was reportedly 140 per 100,000 live births and the number of maternal deaths in 2013 alone is 16,000. The rates are alarmingly high in Southeast Asia for the women of reproductive age of 19 to 49 years old. In countries where teenage pregnancy is on the rise, the mortality rates of pregnant adolescents are increasing as well.

It is important to achieve optimal maternal nutrition for the survival of both the mother and child, hence having a positive impact on maternal mortality as well as birth outcomes. For example, a review on nutrition and maternal mortality showed that mortality increases with the severity of anemia, which could be caused by lack of iron intake. Similarly, the risk of mortality due to obstructed labor is closely related to the short statue of the mothers, which has a direct linkage to maternal dietary intake and nutritional status.

Previous studies have shown that maternal mortality leads to increased mortality risk in children, where most deaths were among children under 1 year old. Children who had lost their mothers were also more likely to be stunted.

Before improving birth outcomes, maternal nutritional status should be improved and maternal mortality and morbidity have to be reduced. In view of the above reports and evidences, there is a need to address maternal malnutrition, leading to the high mortality rate among the mothers which eventually impacts on the birth outcomes as well. As such, the focus of the seminar will be on maternal nutrition, noting the lack of good quality data on maternal dietary intake and nutritional status in relation to birth outcomes, as well as nutritional status of infants and young children.


1. To provide updates on dietary intake and nutritional status of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) in Southeast Asia;
2. To identify intake deficiencies, excesses and nutritional status (eg. anemia) during pregnancy and lactation in the region;
3. To share updates on dietary interventions to improve maternal intake and nutritional status in relation to birth outcomes as well as infant and young child nutritional status




The program is available HERE.


Opening Session
Maternal Nutrition – Dietary Intakes and Related Outcomes
Dr. Parul Christian, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA

Session 1: Maternal Dietary Intake and Nutritional Status (Updates from SEA Countries)
Dr. Mary Chea, Ministry of Health, Cambodia

Dr. Bounthom Phengdy, Ministry of Health, Lao PDR

Prof. Zalilah bt Mohd Shariff, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia

Dr. Moh Moh Hlaing, Ministry of Health, Myanmar

Dr. Marina Barrozo Vargas, Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), Philippines

Dr. Tippawan Pongcharoen, Institute of Nutrition, Mahidol University, Thailand

Prof. Le Thi Hop, Vietnam Nutrition Association, Vietnam

Session 2: Case Studies, Dietary Interventions and Studies to Improve Maternal Nutritional Status and Birth Outcomes
Effect of Maternal Multiple Micronutrient Supplementation on Birth Outcomes
Dr. Parul Christian, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, USA

USM Pregnancy Cohort Study: Selected Findings on Maternal Nutrition and Birth Outcomes
Dr. Hamid Jan Bin Jan Mohamed, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

Impact of Maternal Nutritional Supplementation on Birth and Growth Outcomes in a Vietnamese Population
Dr. Tran Khanh Van, National Institute of Nutrition, Vietnam