NUTRITION CORNER:Low participation among Filipinos in government programs noted

Despite available livelihood, nutrition and health programs of the government, Filipinos do not participate much in them according to the 2008 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST).

The Philippine government has many health and nutrition programs intended for various age groups. These include food production, free medical and dental services, botika ng barangay, immunization, operation timbang, deworming, breastfeeding promotion, tetanus toxoid immunization and nutrition counseling.

According to the NNS, the food production program of the government had the highest participation among the households surveyed with 51.8 percent. This was followed by the free medical and dental services at 34.2 percent and botika sa barangay at 33.9%. The rest of the programs for households had participation of less than 30-percentage points, the survey further revealed.

Immunization, Operation Timbang and deworming intended for 0-5 years old had participation of more than 50-percentage points. The rest of the programs for children had participation below 45 percentage points, the survey noted Interestingly for lactating mothers, 100 percent claimed participation in breastfeeding promotion, 40.0 percent in toxoid immunization and 22.1 percent in nutrition counseling, the survey disclosed.

All these programs are available and accessible in the health centers. However, the results of the FNRI survey on government participation program suggest a review of the different government programs to look into their effectiveness and efficiency.#