CANDON CITY – TThe barangay nutrition scholars and city officials led by Mayor Ericson Singson received the Regional Green Banner Award under the city category in a ceremony held at One Vittorio Hotel, Bantay, Ilocos Sur last October 2, 2014.
The award came as no surprise since Mayor Singson is a medical doctor by profession and as chairman of the City Nutrition Committee (CNC), he can relate well to health and nutrition which made him focus on nutrition as one of the priority programs of his administration.
Under his stewardship, nutrition became a year round activity, not only during Nutrition Month every July where nutrition is celebrated nationwide. With the support of the city and barangay nutrition committees which he strengthened and revitalized to serve as an arm at the grassroots level, the City Action Officer and the Barangay Nutrition Scholars, and other stakeholders and advocates, the city government leaves no stone unmoved as it addresses the nutritional needs of every family in Candon City.
In support of EO 51 which protects, promotes and supports breastfeeding, the CNC passed a resolution for the establishment of breastfeeding rooms in all government and private offices. This provision is also a requirement in securing building permits of malls and other establishments in Candon City.
The Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Center was strengthened to ensure better health and nutrition services to every individual. Efficient delivery of regular programs such as Garantisadong Pambata, Operation Timbang, Salt testing at the market, Expanded Program on Immunization, TB-DOTS, Buntis Day every Tuesday and Thursday, Nutrition counseling and daily OPD are some of the services offered in the center.
The city government also supported the establishment of the Candon City Lying-In Clinic by appointing a full time obstetrician and by sending midwives and nurses to seminars and trainings to update their knowledge and skills. Botika sa Barangay was also initiated among the 42 barangays of the city to ensure that the community people have access to basic medicines at reasonable prices.
Mothers’ classes were also conducted in every barangay. Mothers especially with malnourished children were taught good nutrition and proper family care. These classes served as a venue for nutrition counseling, tapping the Pabasa participants as peer counselors and utilizing the Breastfeeding Support Group as well to campaign on breastfeeding.
Social welfare services were not only activated in times of emergencies. Funds were allocated for milk feeding to underweight and severely underweight preschoolers aside from the supplementary feeding of the Early Childhood Development Center, provision of AICS (Aid in Crisis Situation), monitoring and supervision of Pantawid beneficiaries, assistance to PWDs, establishment of the STAC Center, provision of capital for livelihood projects, youth development for OSYs, social pension, provision of rice during emergencies and pre-marital counseling.
Non-Government Organizations in Candon City such as the Lions Club, Bethsaida, CUMPALSA (Cubcubboot, Palacapac, San Andres Cooperative Association), Rural Improvement Club, Candon Ladies Association, Senior Citizens Association and other civic-oriented groups were tapped in the implementation of nutrition programs.
With a cooperative working force of all concerned agencies and supportive government officials, Candon City was able to reduce the prevalence of underweight pre-schoolers from 5.65% in 2012 to 3.5% in 2013.
With the leadership of the Mayor Ericson Singson, the City of Candon the City Nutrition Committee has targetted a zero prevalence rate of malnutrition in Candon City.
“Good nutrition is the bottom line of attaining health in the hand of every Candonian,” Mayor Singson said. (Tawid News Team)