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PIA Press Release
Sunday, January 22, 2012

 

Parents, barangay officials have key roles in the nutrition program

by Pilar S. Mabaquiao

SAN JOSE, Antique, Jan. 22 (PIA) -- Parents and barangay officials have key roles in nutrition program especially of pre-school children.

Nida Pallon, Provincial Nutrition Action Officer at the same time Nutrition Officer III of the Antique Provincial Health Office said that Antique remained to be on the top in terms of percentage of malnourished children in Western Visayas as of result of the 2011 Operation Timbang (OPT).

With this, Pallon said, they need the support of parents especially of pre-school children in ensuring that these kids get the right amount of nutrients that their body needs.

The Provincial Health Office also appealed to barangay officials, nutrition scholars and health workers to keep track of these parents and help them avail the health services like immunization and vitamins/minerals supplementation.

For school-aged (elementary) children, there is also a need to work on the double to improve their nutritional performance because they still rank no.9 in the whole region but the feeding sessions through the Food-for School program has contributed a lot to improve their status, disclosed Pallon.

Meanwhile, results of the OPT of Region 6 showed that Antique has 10.85 percent malnourished children, then Iloilo with 9.08 percent, Negros Occidental has 7.36 malnourished kids, Aklan with 6.61 percent, Guimaras has 5.62 percent malnourished rate and Capiz with 5.21 percent.

In terms of coverage or total percentage of children covered, Aklan has covered 100 percent of its target, followed by Antique with 90.2 percent. Negros Occidental covered 88.2 percent. Guimaras covered 85.1. Capiz had 85 percent and Iloilo covered 82 percent of children.

Pallon likewise asked all municipal officials to prioritize the nutrition programs when they allocate funds, as it is done at the provincial level.

In addition, she said that the provincial governments are funding the feeding program in towns and the impact of is still yet to be measured in the 2012 OPT.

“While the national government is putting emphasis on poverty alleviation and eradication of hunger, the local governments units could complement the efforts by initiating its support programs and one of which is funding the nutrition programs,” she added.

With concerted efforts, we hope to win the fight against malnutrition in the next few years, she said. (JCM//PSM/PIA6 Antique)

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