The Regional Nutrition Committee and Regional Nutrition Cluster hammered down the nutrition activities set for 2017 last March 16, 2017 held at The Farm @ Carpenter Hill, Koronadal City. With 18 representatives from various agencies and organizations (Save the Children, DA, DOH, DepEd, NEDA, DENR, DSWD, DTI, NCIP, NFA, DOST, DOLE and Samaritan’s Purse), the meeting was presided by DOH XII OIC-Regional Director & chair of the Regional Nutrition Committee Dr. Francisco V. Mateo.
The members had set off 2017 plans with matters discussed scoping the 2016 OPT Plus Results, Status of the 2016 RNC Accomplishment Plan, Overview on the Formulation of 2017-2022 Regional Plan of Action for Nutrition (RPAN), Presentation of Programs and Projects of Samaritan’s Purse, Updates of Programs and Projects of Save the Children, RNC/RDC Policy review, Breastfeeding in the workplace and 2017 Nutrition Month Theme.
Presentation of the 2016 Regional Nutrition Situation hurled various emotions from the members which made them all wanting to thrive more in mustering effective programs that can be very beneficial in reducing malnutrition in the region.
As the results revealed, prevalence rate of underweight and severely underweight among 0-71 months old PSC based on the OPT Plus in SOCCSKSARGEN from CY 2010-2016 showed a relatively decreasing trend from 10.54% in 2010 to 5.76% in 2016. However, stunting prevalence in the region is quite high with 13.96%.
RD Mateo believes that nutrition programs have been perhaps becoming more substantial with the reflected 2016 OPT results. “Let’s altogether work for the continuing decline of the prevalence rate and validate those programs that have significant impacts in the depreciation of the trend”, he added. The proposed RPAN 2017-2022 will focus on the first 1000 days of life to reduce levels of child stunting.
RNC members on the otherhand also decided and sees the need to include advocacy on Oral Health as the sub-theme for the upcoming Nutrition Month Celebration with the initiative coming from Save the Children. They expressed that apart from malnutrition, dental caries is still a serious health issue among Filipino children and unfortunately, not given that much attention. Save the children further emphasized that excessive sugar intake is identified to be the primary cause of the said existing health problem. Hence, according to them, it is important to engage children as well as the parents to activities that will reinforce nutrition education particularly on oral health. The committee also understands that this often neglected health concern may deliberately lead to some forms of infection that may compromise a child’s health.
The meeting had indeed reinvigorated the commitment of the Regional Nutrition Committee in the fight of eradicating malnutrition. Thus, with this highly trusted partner agencies, NNC XII is vehemently determined to do more in improving the state of nutrition in the region.