July 25, 2024

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Provincial Nutrition Council (PNC) will intensify measures to improve the nutritional status of children in the province  

In its first quarter meeting, the PNC firmed up plans to address the prevalence of malnutrition among preschool children aged zero to 59 months.

Data from the Provincial Health Office showed there was no difference on the number of underweight and severely underweight in 2021 and 2022. However, there was a gradual increase in the percentage of children who are overweight and obese. There was a decrease on the number of children who are stunted from 15.7 percent in 2021 to 13.7 percent in 2022.

The PNC had set targets to reduce the number of overweight and obese preschool children from 3.34 percent last year to 3.0 percent this year; gradually reduce wasting prevalence of 1.95 percent from 2022 to 1.50 percent this year; and reduce the level of stunted children under five years old by at least 8.59 percent in 2023 from the baseline of 13.7 percent in 2022.

Programs for the identified issues include nutrition specific programs through the conduct of infant and young feeding programs, dietary supplementation program, nutrition promotion program for behavior change, micronutrient supplementation, mandatory food fortification, and overweight and obesity management and prevention program.

For nutrition sensitive programs, activities planned are mainstreaming nutrition in sustainable livelihood, home and school food production; water, sanitation and hygiene programs, adolescent health and nutrition programs, and reproductive health/responsible parenthood.

Other measures for the management of malnutrition are enabling mechanism programs and conduct and provision of assistance for capacity building activities. – Clienteast Van B. Totanes