Best nutrition practices of Tublay earn highest award
The town of Tublay, Benguet capped its six years of consistent outstanding best practices in nutrition with the prestigious Nutrition Honor Award, which it received during the awarding by the National Nutrition Council at the Manila Hotel on March 20.
The National Honor Award is the highest nutrition award given to local government units for the exemplary and increasingly outstanding performance in the past six consecutive years resulting in low malnutrition rates through effective and efficient implementation of local nutrition programs.
Aside from the award, Tublay along with six other LGUs received P1 million and a specially designed trophy after meeting all the qualifications that were validated through series of evaluations from 2015 to 2021.
Under the leadership of Mayor Armando Lauro and the guidance of the NNC-Cordillera, Tublay, a fifth-class municipality, was first recognized as a Green Banner Awardee at the regional level for its outstanding nutrition program management from 2015 to 2017 and recognized as CROWN or Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner from 2018 to 2021.
The municipality shone through its “Tublay SHINES” framework that stands for “Safe environment and disaster preparedness, Health and social services, Income generation and livelihood initiatives, Nutritious food intake and breastfeeding, Education focused on nutrition advocacy, promotion of healthy lifestyle and gender equality, and Stable food supply and hunger mitigation”.
The SHINES framework consists of a package of inter-sector activities with the overall goal of combating malnutrition to improve quality of life in the municipality, and was first recognized in 2013 by the NNC-CAR as a good practice.
It became “Tublay SHINES plus ING” to align the framework with the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition for 2017 to 2022 to add “inclusive nutrition governance” and envisioned well-nourished, healthy, God-loving productive citizens towards achieving a better quality life, while producing healthy communities by implementing intervention programs, projects and services through multi-sectoral collaborative effort and community partnership within the nutrition plan framework served as its mission.
Tublay also has a newly articulate tagline that calls to “Uplift the Five, Safeguard the Ninety-Five” which among other efforts led to significant changes such as the decreasing trend in the prevalence of underweight children, zero records of wasting and severe stunting, heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition governance among stakeholders, strengthened inter-sector collaboration, and increased community participation.
While the Covid-19 pandemic was a threat to the face-to-face delivery of nutrition services, in Tublay the “never say die” spirit prevailed among its dedicated health workers as programs still pushed through, like the supplemental feeding for children under the supervision of the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, Municipal Nutrition Committee in partnership with barangay health centers and Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council through rationing of food packs and giving of fresh produce from the Organikong Gulayan sa Health Center Project.
Tublay also continues the “Nutrisyon Usapan sa Kasalan where Lauro discusses the 10 Kumainments in solemnizing marriages while midwives and public health nurses integrate nutrition during pre-marriage counselling.
Technology was also integrated into the municipality’s crisis response and used by the health force to monitor, track, and contain the Covid-19, keep people informed, and deliver welfare measures and other services, such as the Project Nutri-tec which uses social media to disseminate nutrition information to people who have Internet access while text messages and phone calls to areas without Internet access were used to disseminate information.
The “Superman” banner, a printed IEC material used to explain dos and don’ts during the pandemic included nutrition concepts translated into vernacular such as Ilocano, Ibaloy, and Kankana-ey.
The Municipal Lactation Station was also certified as mother-friendly workplace in 2021, followed by the barangay health station of Daclan in 2022 making it the first ever BHS to be accredited as mother and baby friendly workplace in the Cordillera.
The “Tublay Samaritan Wheels” is also one of the local initiatives during the pandemic which aimed to look for donors to provide three different packages to ease malnutrition in the locality: the “Gamitin mo ako package” which was intended for overweight and obese children consisting of tangible toys; the “Basahin mo ako package” containing nutritional IEC materials for caregivers or mothers and children’s books; and the “Kainin mo ako package” which has dry food packs consisting of nutritious and calorie-dense foods such as insumix, nutribun, monggo beans, and cornmeal.
To ensure the nutrition program implementation in the barangays, the monitoring and evaluation of local level plan implementation pro tool was used as a medium for the evaluation by the municipal nutrition evaluation team composed of five members through an executive order by the Municipal Nutrition Councilchairpersonto award incentives for the best barangay nutrition council,a determining factor on whom the LGU shall award the incentives for best BNCs and barangay nutrition scholars.
Barangay nutrition action officers and midwives were also recognized for their efforts towards nutrition and guiding the nutrition volunteers and support groups in the barangays.
Tublay is also prioritizing on creating permanent positions for nutrition workers to secure the sustainability of its programs. – Hanna C. Lacsamana