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Nutrition landscape improves in Region-7
Speaking during the First Quarter meeting of the Media Information Network for Nutrition and Development-7, NNC-7 regional program coordinator Dr. Parolita Mission said the data shows a significant decrease in the number of stunted children from 11.9% (91,520) in 2018 to 7.6% (45,810) in 2020.

Nutrition landscape improves in Region-7

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - February 27, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  An improvement in the nutrition landscape in Central Visayas has been noted by the National Nutrition Council-7 based on the results of the 2020 Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus for children ages zero to 59 months old.

Speaking during the First Quarter meeting of the Media Information Network for Nutrition and Development-7, NNC-7 regional program coordinator Dr. Parolita Mission said the data shows a significant decrease in the number of stunted children from 11.9% (91,520) in 2018 to 7.6% (45,810) in 2020.

Wasting was also cut from 3% (22,712) to 1.8% (20,772); overweight from 3.28 percent (24, 807) to 1.7 percent (10,013); and underweight children from 4.26 (32,665) to 3.4 percent (20,218) for the same period.

The OPT Plus is NNC’s annual data collection mechanism to know the nutrition situation of the entire region based on the different nutrition indices particularly stunting, wasting, underweight and overweight.

But Mission said the greater challenge that the region is facing is on stunting (short for age) because of its critical impact to the child’s ability to grow and thrive and achieve his/her full potential.

“The task of controlling and preventing stunting and other forms of malnutrition is enormous and it needs a whole of society approach, a muti-sectoral endeavor to address this age-old problem of hunger and malnutrition,” Mission said.

   Mission said that it has some bearing to the human capital and economic productivity and development of the community/country.

Stunting, she said, can be prevented with the first 1000 days interventions where appropriate caring and feeding practices by the caregivers of prime importance. It is where the NNC campaign through the quad media come into play as it organizes different media groups nationwide to help reach out the greater Filipino populace.

  Due to this huge task, Mission asked the media through MIND-7 whose members are journalists-either from print, radio and television as well as bloggers and other social media personalities to help them strategically craft the campaign to achieve the desired behavior change from the people to practice and further improve the nutrition landscape here in Central Visayas.

“I always believe on the power of the media to educate the general mass of the populace but much more influence our policy makers to invest in nutrition to help create pandemic-resilient local governments for the benefit of their constituents,” Mission said. —   FPL (FREEMAN)

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