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The Philippines hosts the End-User Training and Consultative Meeting for the beta version of the ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance System (ANSS) on 12-14 October 2022 in Dusit Thani Manila.  Data managers and focal points for nutrition from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam; and representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat convened to be trained on how to navigate the ANSS portal and website, as well as discuss steps to maintain and sustain the system.

Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, Assistant Secretary and Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council chaired the meeting, with the Philippines being the lead country for the development of the ANSS.  NNC Technical Committee Chairperson and Food and Nutrition Research Institute Director Dr. Imelda Agdeppa, Mr. Jan Paolo Moreno of the Department of Health (DOH) Bureau of International Health Cooperation, Dr. Rochelle Pambid and Ms. Hazel Mae Chua of the DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, and Ms. Evelyn Carpio of UNICEF Philippines were also in attendance. 

The 3-day meeting commenced with a working dinner with the Heads of Delegation on 11 October 2022 for the preliminary discussion on the provisional agenda of the meeting.  The activity officially opened on 12 October where delegates were welcomed by Dr. Dayanghirang who provided the overall context of the meeting.  DOH Undersecretary Beverly Lorraine Ho delivered the inspirational message that looked at the prospects for the surveillance system.  The training sessions were a mix of lecture and hands-on activities where the delegates familiarized themselves with the different modules and interface of the system.  The ANSS website was also introduced in the meeting, features of which can only be seen if the data were properly inputted in the modules in the portal.  On the last day, the delegates provided their valuable inputs to the anticipated final version of the system as well as the ways forward for its maintenance and sustainability.

The Philippines also hosted a cultural night in the evening of the first day with the Ramon Obusan Folkloric Group showcasing the Filipino traditions through music and dance, while Dusit Thani served Filipino foods, which showed both the uniqueness of Filipino cuisine and its shared traits with our ASEAN neighbors.  The delegates also shared fascinating facts about the fabrics and traditions attached to the traditional attire they wore for the occasion.

The establishment of the ASEAN Nutrition Surveillance System is one of the priority activities of the ASEAN Strategic Framework and Action Plan on Nutrition 2018-2030 formulated to operationalize the ASEAN Leaders’ Declaration on Ending All Forms of Malnutrition. This declaration was adopted by the ASEAN Leaders during the 31st ASEAN Summit in 2017 during the 50th Founding Anniversary of the ASEAN when the Philippines was the overall chairperson.

Nutrition Officer III - Jasmine Anne DF. Tandingan
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