Through the Abbott Fund, hospitals in Asia are delivering high-quality, advanced nutritional care.

OCT 23 2018

When little Xin Yu was born four weeks premature, she weighed less than three pounds. She was at risk of serious complications, so she needed only the best in neonatal care.

Fortunately, Xin Yu (whose name means "happiness") came to Shanghai Children's Medical Center (SCMC), where doctors and nurses with advanced training in clinical nutrition from the Abbott Fund Institute for Nutrition Science (AFINS) staff the neonatal intensive care unit.

Working with leading experts in China and Vietnam, AFINS has improved clinical nutrition in hospitals by providing training and health education, performing groundbreaking clinical research and delivering high-quality nutrition care.

Abbott Fund and hospitals form key partnerships

In China, AFINS began as a partnership between the Abbott Fund, SCMC and the nonprofit organization Project HOPE. The partnership brought together evidence-based nutritional research, the clinical resources of SCMC and Abbott's expertise in nutrition science. AFINS has served as a model for other hospital pediatric nutrition programs in the region since 2007.

In Vietnam, AFINS was established in 2010 in partnership with the Boston University School of Medicine, Bach Mai Hospital, the National Institute of Nutrition and Hanoi Medical University. Its initial focus was on adult nutrition.

Inspiring results

Through the program more than 6,500 healthcare professionals in the two countries have been trained, helping to deliver better care to patients. With the help of the program, for example, SCMC reduced the malnutrition risk for children admitted by more than 80 percent. Complication rates related to nutrition support therapy have also decreased from 5 percent to 1 percent since the AFINS program began. At Bach Mai Hospital, the risk of malnutrition dropped almost 30 percent.

A goals-based approach

In Vietnam, AFINS has focused on improving care through providing in-depth training for staff on how to integrate nutrition into their treatment approaches, expanding nutrition education opportunities, and conducting and sharing research on best practices.

Local government and hospital leaders in China and Vietnam have embraced AFINS, ensuring the long-term sustainability of efforts to strengthen hospital nutrition and provide better patient care.

For tiny Xin Yu at SCMC, the customized nutritional support provided by the AFINS team made all the difference. Her nutritional assessment showed that she was at high risk of malnutrition, but after just 10 days of nutritional therapy, her weight had increased to 4 pounds, 4 ounces. Soon, her parents were able to cradle her in their arms, and Xin Yu was able to go home. Today, thanks to the AFINS-trained neonatal intensive care team, Xin Yu is a happy, healthy little girl.