The Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) held its 67thAnnual Convention at Marco Polo Plaza in Cebu City. More than 400 nutritionists and allied professionals and workers all over the country participated in the gathering. The theme ‘’ Nutrisyong Pangkalahatan, Sangkap ng Kaunlaran’’ draws attention to nutrition as a necessary tool towards equitable development.
The presentation and discussion during the two-day event highlighted inequities in nutritional status and access to nutrition programs and services. Presentation on results of 8thNational Nutrition Survey underline the disparities in food and nutrition with respect to location, gender, age and wealth index. Data on expenditures for nutrition and related interventions shows how much is spent for nutrition and how it is distributed. A presentation on the distribution of nutrition expertise in the country identifies the gaps that exist which prevent identification of experts. The Updated Philippine Development Plan shows how inequity in nutrition is being addressed by the different government agencies.
Best practices in narrowing nutrition equity gaps was also featured during the conference. The Moderate Acute Malnutrition Management through Partnerships Implementation, Localization and Technology Transfer (MAMM PILOT) Project findings suggest that MAM management using Ready to Use Food coupled with nutrition education delivered through existing public health structure can be an effective means of treating MAM cases. A panel discussion on the Naga City experience conveys that reducing child underweight prevalence is a concerted effort of the different members of the City Nutrition Committee with the ‘hands-on ‘ leadership of its city mayor. The different presentations in the convention provided much useful information for the barangay health and nutrition program implementers in delivering nutrition services.
After the plenary sessions, the PAN conducted its business meeting and awards ceremony. Dr. Gemiliano DL. Aligui led the oathtaking of the 2014 PAN members. Awards were given to outstanding students in nutrition and dietetics, exemplary nutrition projects and PAN Fellows. Dr. Aligui then provided the synthesis of the two-day convention and gave the closing remarks thus marking the closing ceremonies of the convention. ###