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February 10, 2021, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte – The National Nutrition Council Caraga, spearheaded by OIC-RNPC Retsebeth M. Laquihon conducted the Monitoring Visit and Technical Assistance through Mentoring, Assisting, and Coaching (MAC) Project to the provincial nutrition office of Surigao del Norte. 
The Provincial Nutrition Committee was convened and attended by Surigao del Norte’s District Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Marissa Solloso, NDDP Ms. Rose Marie Pahit, and GAD Provincial Council for Women focal person Ms. Florian Trinidad.
OIC-RNPC Laquihon presented the provincial nutrition data in comparison to the regional nutrition data on the prevalence of stunting, wasting, and underweight pre-school children 0-59 months old based on OPT Plus. The province of Surigao del Norte ranked 1st in the prevalence of stunting in Caraga Region with a prevalence rate of 17.4% and an OPT coverage of only 36.6% based on the submitted OPT plus report. 
She also presented the capacity map of the province; showing the number of BNSs deployed per municipality, the status of the inventory of measurement tools for height and weight, the appointment and designation of nutrition action officers per municipality, and the status of submission of the Local Nutrition Action Plans (LNAP) and whether it is integrated in the Annual Investment Program (AIP) of the local government units. OIC-RNPC Laquihon also discussed the importance of organizing and re-organizing the local nutrition committee, capacitating the nutrition action officers and the barangay nutrition scholars and the need to formulate the local nutrition action plan for integration in the Annual Investment Program and the Local Development Plans of the local government units.
Given the data presented, GAD Focal Person Ms. Trinidad acknowledged the need to inform the Chairperson of the Provincial Nutrition Committee Governor Matugas about the province’s nutrition situation and to navigate plans for actions to address the malnutrition problem and its underlying factors. DNPC Solloso and NDDP Pahit also acknowledged the need to validate submitted nutrition data from the municipalities especially for the OPT plus. Meanwhile, OIC-RNPC Laquihon stressed that the National Nutrition Council Caraga will provide technical support to the province of Surigao del Norte and its municipalities for effective and efficient management of their local nutrition program.
NO II Aldrin Atienza/OIC-RNPC Retsebeth M. Laquihon

Spring Floral Collage WallpaperThe National Nutrition Council Caraga, spearheaded by OIC-NPC Retsebeth M. Laquihon, RND, MPD, MDM, meets with the co-founder of the Breastfeeding Nanays sa Caraga, Ms. Rhea Carampatana, to coordinate activities in support of the First 1000 Days Campaign.

Breastfeeding Nanays sa Caraga, which was founded in the year 2014 with only six members, is a support group of mothers who supports the campaign on exclusive breastfeeding and counsels expectant and lactating mothers on good child-bearing and child-rearing practices. As a way of bolstering the effort to advocate for good maternal and child nutrition, in support to the First 1000 Days campaing, NNC Caraga proposed activities that will enable more mothers through the Breastfeeding Nanays sa Caraga to be educated not only on the benefits exclusive and continued breastfeeding but also on the whole pacakge of the First 1000 Days program of the Department of Health and NNC.

The first 1,000 days of life - the time spanning roughly between conception and one’s second birthday - is a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established. Malnutrition weaken this foundation leading to earlier mortality and significant morbidities such as poor health, and more insidiously, substantial loss of neurodevelopmental potential. The First 1000 Days program includes six critical interventions in which exclusive breastfeeding is given importance in the first 6 months of life of the infant. 

OIC-NPC Laquihon together with NOII Leah Vina Vargas and NOI Raphael Ochavo presented the PPAN 2017-2022 framework and the eNNS result for the City of Butuan and Agusan del Norte Province as a springboard and basis on the need to put more effort in campaigning and advocating for the First 1000 Days program. Various proposed activities were also presented to BFN sa Caraga to have a colloborative approach in campaigning for the First 1000 Days Program. Ms. Carampatana expressed her interest and pledged for commitment as they continue to pursue their organization's objective to guide and counsel expectant mothers, pregnant and lactating women. NNC Caraga and BFN sa Caraga collaborative activities is expected to commence on the second quarter of the year 2021

Author: NOI Raphael P. Ochavo, RN

Agusan del Norte Provincial Nutrition Committee Chaired by Governor Dale Corvera led the turnover ceremony of the nutrition commodities to its component city and municipalities on February 4, 2021 at  Provincial Capitol, Butuan City.February 4, 2021, Butuan City - the Provincial Nutrition Committee Chaired by Governor Dale Corvera led the turnover ceremony of the measurement tools funded and procured by the provincial government of Agusan del Norte and IEC materials from the NNC to respective LGUs in the province. NNC Caraga OIC-RNPC Retsebeth M. Laquihon also graced the ceremony. She presented the nutrition situation of Agusan del Norte and emphasized the need to invest for nutrition in the First 1000 Days to prevent child stunting. Mayor Enrico Corvera of the municipality of Nasipit and Municipal Nutrition Action Officers representing their LGUs received various IEC materials and measurement tools that are very useful for nutrition assessment and nutrition promotion and advocacy at the local level.

Governor Corvera stated "We have Agusan Up and nutrition program is one of the components, focusing in agricultural development." The basic foundation of the province is the health and nutrition of the children.

He recognized the roles of the municipal nutrition committees led by the mayors; the provincial government will pass policies that will support the nutrition programs but the real actions are in the municipalities. "The success of the province is in the hands of our leaders," Governor Corvera said.

He also recognized the roles of the Nutrition Action Officers and they will find ways to extend support to the nutrition program manpower.

One of the governor’s personal commitment is to improve their health and nutrition services for the people "tarungon ang nutrition program, not just for compliance but let's a have better program for better results! Let's invest for better future!" He added.

After the turnover, the NNC Caraga oriented the NAOs on the Interim Guidelines in the conduct of OPT, GMP and Nutrition Screening. The guidelines are in line with the provisions of DOH-Department Circular 2020-0167 Continuous Provisions of Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Epidemic and DOH-Department Memorandum 2020-0237 Interim Guidelines for the Delivery of Nutrition services in the Context of COVID 19 Pandemic under Growth and Development Monitoring and Promotion.

OIC-RNPC Laquihon also informed the MNAOs that NNC Caraga is willing to provide them technical assistance to ensure the important interventions for nutrition programs are integrated to the Annual Investment Program (AIP) and Local Development Investment Program (LDIP) by capacitating their local nutrition committees.



National Oral Health Month


Pursuant to the Presidential Proclamation No. 559, celebrating the month of February as the National Oral Health Month. This celebration is to strengthen the public awareness on the importance of the good oral health.

National Nutrition Council-Caraga strongly advocates the importance of 1st 1000days of life as we also celebrate the 2021 National Oral health month theme: “Ngipin ay Alagaan Mula sa sinapupunan para sa magandang ngiti hanggang katandaan”.  Oral health is an integral to general health and essential to well‐being and quality of life. It is a window to our overall health. Oral health affects nutrition status and diet intake. Similarly, nutrition also plays key role in oral and dental health.

According to Department of Health there are two most common oral health disease affecting the Filipinos wherein 87.4% Filipinos suffer from dental caries while 48.3% of Filipinos has gum disease.

Exclusive breastfeeding during 0-6 months has very important role in preventing gum disease to occur during early childhood days. A well-balanced complementary food, minimizing the introduction of sugary foods during 6 months and above can also help prevent the two common dental diseases from occurring. Early introduction of sugary foods contributes to the prevalence of oral health diseases specifically dental caries in children and it can adversely affect the overall nutrition for growth specifically on their weight and height.

The Department of Health provides oral health services for infants, pre-school and school-age children, adolescents, adults, senior citizens and pregnant women. This year’s theme also encourages everyone to see your dentist every six months. You may visit your dentist at your rural health centers to avail oral health services.


OIC RNPC Laquihon discussing nutrition programs with DOH XIII Director Llacuna Jr last January 20 2021 at DOH Caraga, Butuan CityJanuary 20, 2021, Butuan City- OIC-Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Retsebeth M. Laquihon of NNC Caraga had a First Coordination Meeting for CY 2021 with Caraga Regional Nutrition Committee Chairperson, DOH Director Jose R. Llacuna, Jr for the collaborative efforts in the implementation of nutrition program between NNC and DoH in the region.

OIC-RNPC Laquihon gave updates on the proposed establishment of NNC Caraga supported by RDC Resolution no.57 s2020. RD Llacuna is giving his full support for this endeavour to strengthen and sustain the operationalization and management of nutrition program in Caraga.

Director Llacuna added that DoH is purchasing Allen sticks to augment the needs of the LGUs for nutrition assessment. Nutrition assessment is one of the vital steps in nutrition program planning and management; it can be used to identify high-risk groups and priority areas for nutrition interventions. This will also serve as basis for identifying immediate and underlying factors in malnutrition according to the WHO-CGS nutrition indicators.


DOH STH pictureLast January 1-31, 2021, Caraga Region observed the National Deworming Month. Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are among the most common infections in humans worldwide, caused by a group of parasites commonly referred to as worms, including roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworm (Trichuris trichiura) and hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) which can impair nutrient intake and malabsorption and these parasites may possibly compete for vitamin A and other nutrients. These worms also feed on host tissues and blood that can cause internal bleeding and anemia due to iron and protein loss. Soil-transmitted helminth infections also causes diarrhea and dysentery, intestinal inflammation and obstruction. All of these could lead to dehydration, malnutrition, general malaise, weakness, impaired growth and physical development and if not treated, death.

STH are transmitted by eggs that are passed in the feces of infected person; In areas that lack sanitation, these eggs contaminate the soil. Eggs are ingested when vegetables are not carefully washed, cooked and prepared. Eggs can also be ingested from contaminated water source and if people are not washing their hands after in contact with contaminated soil. People can also become infected with hookworm primarily by contact of contaminated soil, hookworm eggs hatch in the soil, releasing larvae that mature into a form that can actively penetrate the skin.

The periodic large-scale administration of anthelminthic medicines to populations at risk, can prevent and reduce cases of STH infections. Philippines observes the National Deworming Month twice a year, every January and July to eliminate intestinal parasitism among children as one of the goals of Department of Health (DOH). A synchronized schedule of mass drug administration for STH is done in schools and the community by the DOH and Department of Education in partnership with the different health offices of the local government units. However, long-term sustainable solutions to STH are the most needed interventions to address many factors, including improvement of sanitation, hygiene, safe and clean water source.