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PIA Press Release

Catbalogan nutrition office distributes weighing scales

By Ninfa B Quirante

Catbalogan City (5 August) -- As the weight of a child is the best indication of good nutrition, the Catbalogan City Nutrition Office through Sangguninag Panglungsod and at the same time City Nutrition Action Officer CNAO) Herminia Cabral distributed weighing scales to members of the Barangay Nutrition Committees (BNCs).

All 57 barangays were given weighing scales for the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) to monitor changes in the child's weight.

Members of the BNC underwent a two-day training seminar on their duties and functions to ensure that children in the barangays are well nourished.

In the forum held on July 30-31, 2008 at the Cocina de Cabral, Catbalogan City, City Health Officer Dr. Sesenia Yong in a presentation, revealed the nutritional status of the 57 barangays.

In 2007, with some 15,205 children aged five and below being weighed, some 3, 980 or 26.1% children registered as malnourished.

In the year 2006, meanwhile, with some 16, 330 children aged five and below being weighed, some 4, 739 or 28.9% children registered as malnourished.

Although the percentage got smaller, health and nutrition officials are wary that the figures are not necessarily to be proud of.

Barangay Albalate, a remote barangay registered as the top one with the most number of malnourished children, whereas Barangay Uno and Barangay Dose registered as having the least number of malnourished children as seen in the Operation Timbang Records.

Yong emphasized that children do not only need minerals and nutrients from food but equally need micronutrients being supplied by the government through the Garantisadong Pambata (GP) program held every April and October.

Barangay Lagundi Punong Barangay Felomino Cabariban told PIA he is ready to implement a feeding program even if his barangay has relatively fewer malnourished tots.

Yet he said, he would also bat for livelihood opportunities for his women-constituents to augment the family's income and thereby afford more nutritious food for the family.

The City government through Mayor Coefredo Uy promised to subsidize the honorarium, of BNSs to inspire them to push for activities that would improve the nutritional status of children.

Meanwhile in Barangay Flora, Apayao, Cagayan President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo launched the Healthy Start Child Nutrition Program (HSCNP) in Flora Central Elementary School.

The President also enjoyed the promotion of veggie noodles which she announced will be sold at Tindahan Natin outlets to be patronized by the masses.

PGMA endorsed the veggie noodles not only as an affordable food but nutritious too. (PIA-Samar) [top]

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