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1st Year CROWN Maintenance Awardee
Cagayan de Oro City
Aligning vision with action to good nutrition

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Dubbed as the country’s “whitewater rafting capital,” Cagayan De Oro City is the gateway to northern Mindanao and is known as the City of Golden Friendship because of the warm welcoming smiles and utmost hospitality of the locals. With a rich history that dates to the Spanish regime in the country, Cagayan de Oro is now a flourishing 1st class highly urbanized city and the capital of Misamis Oriental. It is geographically nestled between the central coastline of Macajalar Bay and the naturally rich plateaus and mountains of Bukidnon and Lanao del Norte.

The City Nutrition Committee (CNC) led by Mayor Oscar Moreno is committed to sustaining effective and efficient nutrition program management through active collaboration among stakeholders leading towards nutritionally productive citizenry and envisioning a well-nourished and healthy Kagay-anons. True to the City Government’s vision of strategic and prime development hub of the south, a city managed through good governance, with empowered citizens that thrive in a highly competitive economy, and a sustainable environment that nurtures its diversity and multi-cultural heritage towards a resilient, progressive, and inclusive future, the CNC also ensures the delivery of health and nutrition services that respond to the needs of all stakeholders in its 80 barangays. Cagayan De Oro City continues to adhere to its PRIMEHAT development framework (Peace & Order and Poverty Alleviation; Revenue Generation; Infrastructure and Investments; Metropolization; Education and Environment Protection; Housing, Health and Hospital Services; Agricultural Productivity; and Teamwork, Traffic, and Tourism) to achieve the shared vision of development, aspired by the people and its government.

 

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Maternal, Infant, and Young Child Nutrition

Recognizing the rights of the children to survival, protection, participation, and development, to promote children’s welfare and to enhance their opportunities to enjoy useful and meaningful life, the City government, through a participatory multi-stakeholder approach, continues to manage and deliver essential health and nutrition services for women of reproductive age, pregnant and lactating women, and infant and young children.

The City guarantees sufficient access to health services including prenatal services in all government-run hospitals, and functional 54 barangay health centers throughout the city. Most of the health and nutrition staff are trained and equipped with appropriate competencies to address and treat all forms of malnutrition. Quality healthcare services are available, including free laboratory tests being offered to pregnant women, and equitable distribution of buntis kits to IP pregnant women. From thirty five (35) organized breastfeeding support groups in 2016 to forty seven (47) in 2019, with the conduct of IYCF training among peer counselors and barangay nutrition scholars (BNSs), and with a high attendance of pregnant and lactating women to IYCF and Pabasa sa Nutrisyon classes, the first 1000 days of life are undoubtedly being prioritized in the city.

 

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Healthy Lifestyle and Nutrition Promotion

The nutrition committee also recognizes the relevance of integrating comprehensive nutrition education in the CNC’s plan to manage overweight and obesity, promote a healthy lifestyle, and prevent chronic communicable diseases to the wider public. The CNC has employed several strategies for the massive healthy lifestyle and nutrition promotion including the posting of Ten Kumainments and Pinggang Pinoy in strategic places in all barangays, distribution of IEC materials and leaflets at rural health units (RHUs), and the conduct of Ten Kumainments and Pinggang Pinoy Forums among parents and caregivers of preschool and school-age children, and adolescents. To ensure higher coverage and more effective campaign, the committee initiated reaching out to the general public by conducting Healthy Lifestyle Lecture among elementary and high school students, BNSs, non-government organizations (NGOs) and government agencies, and other workplaces, among persons with deprived with liberty, senior citizens and patients with diabetes. In selected barangays, a forum about a healthy diet for non-communicable diseases were also conducted.

To further increase awareness and to educate the Kagay-anons about a healthy lifestyle, the CNC also takes advantage of the local radio station with radio guesting, especially during nutrition month celebration. The barangay nutrition committees (BNCs) were also tapped for the program Talakayan sa PIA on Healthy Lifestyle. Cognizant of the effect of good nutrition to enhance productivity, the CNC also encourages its city hall employees to practice healthy lifestyle and let them engage in several competitions like the “Green Gainer Biggest Loser Contest” or participate in organized activities like Zumba.

 

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Other nutrition-sensitive programs for Kagay-anons

Nutrition-sensitive programs were designed and implemented in Cagayan de Oro City which aimed to increase income, improve economic and physical access to food, access to safe drinking water and toilet facilities, prevent teen-age pregnancy, and practice family planning. These programs include the provision of financial assistance to provide capital for sustainable livelihood programs; provision of material support for BUB Bigasan; conduct of skills training among women for food processing; livelihood training like massage and hilot among informal sectors; organizing bazaars during significant events; distribution of vegetable seeds and establishment of home gardens, BNC and school gardens; distribution of fingerling, poultry or livestock among households with underweight and severely underweight preschool children.

To ensure safe access to safe drinking water and toilet facilities, the nutrition committee also conducts monitoring of water sanitation facilities and sanitary toilet facilities among households across the city. Other initiatives to ensure proper sanitation is the implementation of the Zero Open Defecation Program in five barangays of the city, regular monitoring of proper waste disposal at the household level across the 80 barangays, the conduct of Food/Water Sanitation Campaign among food handlers, and regular conduct of food establishment inspection.

Teenage Pregnancy Lecture and Fora among high school students were also part of the CNC’s initiatives to prevent teenage pregnancy. To prevent malnutrition, encourage participation, and protect the rights of pregnant teenage mothers, the CNC also established teenage clinics in 54 Barangay Health Centers across the city.

The nutritional status of preschool children showed continuous improvement, specifically in the prevalence of stunting from 3.7% in 2017 to 1.7% in 2019 and wasting from 1.0% in 2017 to 0.5% in 2019. Prevalence of wasting and overweight of school children also improved from 9.34% in 2017 to 7.12% in 2019, and 1.15% in 2017 to 0.71% in 2019, respectively. These are indications of significant achievement of translating nutrition and health plans into action, raising the bar of service delivery, good leadership, organization, and stakeholder engagement in Cagayan de Oro City.

 

Written by:

Ms. Divine Grace C. Domingo, RND, MSc.
Assistant Professor
Nutritional Sciences Division
Institute of Human Nutrition and Food
College of Human Ecology, UP Los Baños

 

The 2021 NNAC Souvenir Program is now available for download: https://bit.ly/dwnld2021NNACSP

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