By Miriam P. Aquino, PIA, La Union
ILOILO CITY – “Health and nutrition is everybody’s concern,” Secretary of Health and National Nutrition Council National Governing Board Chair Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial said during the recent launching of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022.
Ubial said the new PPAN is a results-based plan designed to achieve significant reductions in the prevalence of malnutrition in various forms, such as stunting or low height for age or pagkabansot, wasting or low weight for height or pagkapayat, micro-nutrient deficiencies, and overweight/obesity in the country.
PPAN’s strategic thrusts are the First 1,000 Days of Life which starts from the concept-ion and before the second birthday of the child; complementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive programs; intensified mobilization of local government units and reaching Geographically isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs) and communities of indigenous peoples.
Emphasizing on the recent Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) National Nutrition Survey in 2015, with a national baseline status of 33.4 percent or 3.8 million stunted children and 7.1 percent or 807,057 wasted children nationwide, Ubial urged all the local government units especially the barangays to help them reduce these data by ensuring a zero-stunted case at their level to achieve the targeted 21 percent reduction by 2022.
She also cited that over-weight and obesity with 18 million Filipinos affected is also an emerging concern among children and a major problem among adults.
Meanwhile, at the regional level, the Operation Timbang (OPT) is a platform used by the local government units in response to PPAN.
NNC Region 1 reported that for 2015, a total of 22,200 underweight pre-school children were recorded out of the total 660,718 children weighed; stunted – 59,953 out of 661,968 weighed; wasted – 21,948 out of the 636,652; and overweight for age – 9,291.
In 2016, there were 18,280 underweight pre-school children out of 645,776 weighed; stunted – 44,453 from the weighed 611,034; wasted – 16,943 out of 616,769; and overweight – 8,099.
Also present in the PPAN 2017 – 2022 launching on May 2 at the Grand Xing Imperial Hotel were DOH Assistant Secretary and NNC Executive Director IV Maria Bernardita T. Flores, GABRIELA Party List Representative Emmi A. De Jesus, members of the NNC Governing Board, Iloilo Governor Arthur D. Defensor, Sr., media groups from the different regions, represent-atives from the LuzViMin Barangay Nutrition Scholars Federation, Inc., Nutrition Action Officers Association of the Philippines, and NNC regional officers.#