NNC13 LNEWS1NO II Ivy Sheryl Sablas and NO I Raphael Ochavo of NNC Caraga attended and facilitated the Local Nutrition Early Warning System – Food & Nutrition Security Monitoring & Meeting of the Municipality of San Agustin, Surigao del Sur. The Early Warning System for Food and Nutrition Security is a component of the Philippine Food and Nutrition Surveillance System (PFNSS) that is intended to enable LGUs to take timely nutrition action through early detection of a worsening nutrition situation based on monitoring of nutrition and nutrition-related indicators. The LNEWS – FNS monitoring and meeting was attended by the local barangay officials of the five sentinel barangays of the Municipality of San Agustin, officers and staff of the Surigao del Sur Provincial Nutrition Office duly represented by DNPC Ms. Marilou Gallardo, health officers from the Municipal Health Office and the Municipal Nutrition Office of the Municipality of San Agustin.

District Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Marilou Gallardo welcomed the participants and guests and thanked all of the data collectors and the LGU of San Agustin for convening the key offices and individuals for the conduct of the EWS monitoring and meeting. Before the data presentation, NO II Ivy Sheryl Sablas gave brief discussion on EWS to orient the participants, especially the new data collectors and newly elected local officials. The Municipal Planning and Development Officer (MPDO) in collaboration with the Municipal Nutrition Office through its Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO) spearheaded the presentation of the results of the data collected for the 1st Quarter of 2019 to the EWS core group and to the local officials present. According to the data presented, only 65% of the total number of households interviewed are considered food secure and among the food groups, cereals, oils & fats, and spices & condiments are the top three food groups ranked according to frequency of consumption. The nutritional status presented shows that there are 11 cases of underweight and severely underweight children, 18 cases of stunting and 4 cases of wasting and severe wasting.

The MPDO and MNAO expressed their concerns in the accuracy of the collection of data as there are confusions with the usage of the data collection tool, prompting the need to conduct reorientation of the data collectors. The newly elected local barangay officials also expressed their concerns with regards to the general process of the EWS. The local officials requested that their BNSs orient the local officials about EWS and present the previous and present nutritional status of their respective locality. Also, the BNS/data collectors requested for more financial assistance, as well as the provision of tools and supplies, to aid in their data collection activities. The most common concerns the data collectors expressed are the insufficiency of transportation funds, data collection supplies (office supplies) and equipment (boots, umbrellas) and the provision of a more accurate and easier to transport height board.

At the end of the monitoring and meeting, MNAO Ms. Marylle Masaglang gave the closing remarks thanking all of the participants and challenged all data collectors, health and nutrition workers to go the extra mile in battling malnutrition. Also, the participants were able to receive 10-Kumainment fans and nutrition month t-shirt.

Author: NO I Raphael P. Ochavo, RN