Negros Oriental tops provinces in kids stunting growth rate
Raffy T. Cabristante (The Freeman) - July 26, 2018 - 10:01pm

DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines —  The Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) said Negros Oriental is among the provinces in the Philippines with the highest rate of children that experience stunting growth — a sign of malnutrition.


Provincial nutrition action officer Liland Estacion reported that according to data from the Food Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in Manila, Negros Oriental registered this year a stunting growth rate of 40 percent among children aged five and under.

Stunting occurs when a child’s height is not appropriate for his or her age, Estacion said. She then noted that the provincial rate is much higher than the nationwide rate of 33.4 percent, and even higher than the stunting rates in Bohol (39.1 percent), Cebu (36.6 percent), and Siquijor (36.4 percent).

In Negros Oriental, Basay town has the highest stunting rate with 30.5 percent, followed by San Jose, Tayasan, Santa Catalina, and Vallehermoso towns.

However, Estacion told reporters that the PNC is still validating the FNRI data because according to their own research, the province only has a stunting rate of 17 percent. Government nutritionists have been mandated to conduct validation until the end of the month.

“Mao na karon mag-validate ta. Basin na lang og ma-revert ta ug dili na ta taas sa national. I want to present to them our own validation,” Estacion said, adding that weighing scales and height boards in the province have also been calibrated for validation.

Estacion also assured that her office is paying attention to the stunting problem in Negros Oriental. She said that among the ways the PNC is addressing this is through intensifying its “First 1,000 Days of Life” Campaign.

“Gikan sa pagbuntis sa mama, ato na siyang gi-care hangtod pagpanganak with all the vaccines until the first two years of life. Mao na ang atong gi-monitor ug gitagaan og atensyon sa atong nutrition programs,” Estacion said.

Despite the stunting problem, she told reporters that Pamplona town will be receiving a “green banner” award from the Department of Health for attaining zero malnutrition there for the second straight year.

Officials from Pamplona town, including Mayor Janice Degamo, are expected to fly to Manila by the end of July to receive the award.

Meanwhile, Estacion also reported that in the other parameters of malnutrition such as weight for age and weight for height, Negros Oriental’s numbers is still relatively “lower” than that of the national limit set at 7.1 percent.

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