Leyte Samar Daily Express
TACLOBAN CITY – Eastern Visayas continues to have great number of malnourished and undernourished children as revealed by National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional coordinator.
Karina Santiago said in an interview that malnourished and undernourished children are associated with poverty as it resulted to hunger that causes a person not to get enough nutrients that the body needs.
In the region, Northern Samar has the highest prevalence of malnutrition as based on the “Operation Timbang” of the NNC while in the case of malnutrition based on the survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Biliran and Northern Samar have the highest incidence of malnutrition, Santiago said.
The implementation of the anti-hunger mitigation program by various sectors in the six provinces in the region was recently assessed by the NNC in a meeting held in this city.
In the meeting, the NNC asked their partners to identify and inform their agencies what are the problems that are currently being encountered by the community-based organizations, local government units and their health and nutrition implementers in every community.
“We would like to know what are the problems that they encounter in the implementation of the anti-hunger mitigation campaign of the government in their areas, so that we can provide them assistance that will help improve the implementation of nutrition program in various areas in the region,” Santiago said.
Santiago said that they are strongly campaigning and advocating mothers to practice breastfeeding and supplementary feeding as most victims of malnutrition and undernutrition are new born babies and toddlers.
Although most mothers in the region practice breastfeeding at 91.6% and complimentary feedings at 80% for infants age six to nine months and 11.6% for infants who receive complementary feeding below six months, Santiago revealed that based on survey the median duration of mothers that practice exclusive breastfeeding is 2.3 months.
“The rate for breastfeeding mothers in the region is high but sad to say most of them practices exclusive breastfeeding for about 3 months which we consider it as malpractice in breastfeeding because it will not provide the full nutrients that infants needs in order to have a healthy body and proper nutrition,” Santiago said.
Having this problem, their agency together with their local counterpart strongly promote good nutrition by convincing mothers to practice breastfeeding and complementary feeding to their newly-born and young children ages 0 to two years old, “Pabasa sa Nutrisyon”, promotions of vegetables, eggs and the nutrition guidelines for Filipinos.
Aside the above mentioned activities, they are also encouraging people in the region to have a backyard garden or to have a communal garden where they can have fresh supply of vegetables. (ROEL AMAZONA)