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PIA Press Release

CAR pre-schoolers malnutrition rate improves

by Lito Dar

Baguio City (20 February) -- The Cordillera Administrative Region's 2009 malnutrition rate for pre-schoolers (age 0-71 mos.) improves to 5.30 percent, compared to the 7.81 percent recorded in 2008, according to the latest data of the National Nutrition Council (NNC).

Broken down per province, malnutrition rate in Apayao improved to 13.48 percent, from 13.82 percent in 2008, Ifugao, 5.04 percent compared to 5.90 in 2008, Kalinga improved to 8.41 percent from 9.64 percent, Mountain Province improved to 6.12 from 7.28 percent, while Baguio City improved to 3.29 compared to the 3.88 percent recorded in 2008.

For the province of Abra, the malnutrition rate went up to 16.58 percent in 2009 compared to 16.25 percent in 2008. The same scenario was recorded in Benguet as the malnutrition rate went up to 5.53 percent, from 3.68 percent in 2008.

According to Rose Pablo of NNC-CAR, the improvement of the region's over-all malnutrition rate can be attributed to the Accelerated Anti-Hunger Mitigation Program(AHMP) of the government, which is one of the banner programs of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

As for pre-schoolers, the government through the Department of Social and Welfare and Development (DSWD), in partnership with the Department of Education is continuously implementing AHMP programs like the Food for School Program and the Healthy Start Feeding program. DSWD's 4Ps or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program also helps in the nutritional needs of school children below 14 years of age.

The Health Department, in partnership with the local government health services unit is also continuously providing assistance through its de-worming program and supplementary vitamins program for children.

Pablo stressed that the NNC is currently focusing in monitoring the implementation of the government's AHMP and on providing trainings on the promotion of good nutrition.

According to Pablo, their trainings have been focusing on the priority provinces of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga and Ifugao. They have been training trainors who will then train local health workers in their respective communities. Trainings have been finished in all the municipalities of Kalinga and Apayao.

For this first quarter of 2010, they are targeting to finished training trainors in the remaining half of the 27 municipalities of Abra and one more municipality in Ifugao. Pablo also cited that they are also continuously evaluating "nutrition scholars" who are in charge of the implementation of nutrition programs at the barangay level. (PIA) [top]

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