A recent National Nutrition Survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), revealed that about one million Filipino children suffer from acute malnutrition.
Because of this, the Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP), has launched the first Philippine national guidelines for the management of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) among children under five years of age.
Martin Bettelley, Country Director ad interim of WFP Philippines said their ultimate goal is to significantly lower, if not zero out, the rate of acute malnutrition in the Philippines.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with the Department of Health in making this initiative a reality. Our strategic collaboration was key to producing a manual that comes in handy for both decision-makers and for healthcare providers, who will help improve the nutrition of Filipino children through quality health and childcare practices,” added Bettelley.
Consistent with the “All for Health towards Health for All” Agenda of the DOH, the guidelines further support the implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022, which aims to decrease acute malnutrition, reduce child mortality and improve the survival of children under 5 years.
“Children with Moderate Acute Malnutrition have a higher risk of mortality associated with nutrition-related deaths. If they do not receive adequate support and equitable attention, severe acute malnutrition such as extreme wasting or stunting may happen, which are both life-threatening conditions,” said Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, adding that the national guidelines for the management of MAM are timely and essential for it is a public health priority.
The manual for the management of MAM completes the set of guidelines for Acute Malnutrition, which also comprises the National Guidelines for the Management of Acute Malnutrition for Children under 5 years (Administrative Order 2015-0055), and the National Guidelines for the Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
Following the launch, regional focal persons received a technical briefing and training to ensure that proper interventions for acute malnutrition will be given due place in the work plans of their respective agencies.
The launch of the manual coincides with the National Nutrition Month celebrations which included a talk show that provided venue for healthcare workers and advocates from all over the country to discuss the importance and ways of managing MAM among children. (Source– www.doh.gov.ph)