Director Llacuna serving the first meal to malnourished preschool during the "Unang Hungit," DOH Supplementary Feeding on April 15, 2016 in Surigao del Sur Oval Sports Complex, Tandag City.April 15, 2016, Tandag City -- DOH and NNC Caraga went to Tandag City for the Launching of the Supplementary feeding of DOH, “Unang Hungit.” The team was led by Director Jose R. Llacuna Jr, the DOH Regional Director and OIC-Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC Caraga.

It has been 7 months since the Indigenous People (IP) from the municipalities of San Miguel, Marihatag, San Agustin, Tago and Lianga evacuated their areas due to armed conflict between the military and NPAs. The indigenous people seek shelter in the Oval-Surigao del Sur Sports Complex in Tandag City. With months of monitoring of the health and nutritional status of evacuees, there is an increasing number of malnourished among the vulnerable groups.

Through the collaborative effort of DOH and NNC Caraga, Surigao del Sur Provincial Nutrition Office, Provincial Health Office, IP representatives,  Municipal Nutrition Action Officers of the affected areas and members of Surigao del Sur Nutrition Cluster, a supplementary feeding of 120 days was planned for the improvement of the nutritional status of pregnant women, lactating women, underweight and severely underweight children.

Consultation for the implementation of the feeding, formulation of guidelines and menus were made by the Nutrition Cluster of Surigao del Sur with the assisted from DOH and NNC Caraga. The Nutrition Cluster also consulted the IP leaders and their representatives in the selection of the menus. Menus are not just healthy foods but also culturally sensitive to the IPs. The supplementary feeding of the IPs was also funded by DOH Caraga.

The Ceremonial “Unang Hungit” of the malnourished children as the start of the 120-days supplementary feeding was graced by Director Llacuna together with ARD Cesar Cassion, Dr. Glenn Tiangha, PHO Eric Montesclaros and PNAO Ermelinda Ascarez.

DOH Caraga Expanded Program on Immunization Coordinators also had an Immunization Week Celebration   in Tandag City during the “Unang Hungit” ceremony.

NNC Caraga Turn Over of RD Valencia to RD MolonButuan City--- Department of Health-Center for Health Development Caraga welcomed its new Regional Director in the person of Minerva P. Molon, MD, MPH, FPPA during the ceremonial turnover at Almont Inland Resort Hotel last August 27, 2013. Director Ariel I. Valencia, the outgoing director formally turned over the regional office and responsibilities to Director Molon. The event was attended by the DOH CHD Caraga personnel, NNC Caraga staff, provincial health officers, regional hospital chiefs and representatives from the attached agencies and from COA. Director Molon is also the new OIC-Nutrition Program Coordinator for NNC Caraga. NNC was represented by Ms. Hygeia C. Gawe, Chief of Nutrition Surveillance Division.

A plaque of appreciation was presented to Director Ariel I. Valencia for his dedicated service and support to improve the health and nutrition situation in Caraga region. After the formal turnover was the semi-annual program implementation review. Dr. Cesar C. Cassion, Assistant Regional Director presented the accomplishment report which focused on the Millennium Development Goals. The turnover ceremony ended with a socialization of the personnel with the outgoing and incoming regional directors. ###

npm 2014The National Nutrition Council-Caraga conducted a five-day live-in Training of Trainers on the Basic Course for Barangay Nutrition Scholars on September 15-19, 2014 at Goat 2-Geder Hotel and Restaurant, Butuan City. The training aims to capacitate its participants knowledge, attitude and skills that will help them coach Barangay Nutrition Scholars in achieving core competencies.  The BNSs are community nutrition workers who deliver basic nutrition and nutrition-related services to families particularly those with malnourished children. 


The training was organized into six modules that enabled the participants to explain details of the Barangay Nutrition Scholar Program; discuss the basic concepts of food and nutrition; develop the skills needed in performing the roles and tasks of BNSs; describe the nutrition program management at the barangay level and in the context of local development system; illustrate the numerous roles and responsibilities of BNSs in the context of the nutrition program management at the barangay level; and implement training on the basic course for BNSs.


Thirty participants composed of Municipal Nutrition Action Officers and staff attended and completed the training. NNC Caraga staff  NO III Retsebeth M. Laquihon, NO II Rowena C. Gomez, NO II Nancy C. Sarabosing  were the facilitators/ resource persons along with Agusan del Sur OIC -PNAO Laniebelle T. Angchangco, Butuan City OIC-CNAO Nenita C. Rafanan and Surigao del Sur NO II Miloniza N. Serra.     ###

pan 2014The 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.   ###

fns 2014The Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) conducted a dissemination forum on the result of the 8thNational Nutrition Survey on October 10, 2014 at Y Hotel, Butuan City. The national nutrition survey is conducted every three years since 1978 and aims to evaluate the nutrition and health status of Filipinos and update the statistics on food, nutrition and health situation in the country. The 8thNNS was conducted all over the country during the period of June 2013 to April 2014. The survey covers the components on anthropometric survey, biochemical survey, clinical and health survey, economics survey, food security, government program participation, infant and young child feeding, maternal health and salt survey.

Participants during the forum were Nutrition Action Officers, District Nutrition Program Coordinators, DOST provincial directors, inter-agency personnel and other stakeholders. Highlights of the survey showed that for Caraga, the number of 0-5 year-old children who were underweight reduced to 19.9% from 23.1 % in 2011. Provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur and Surigao del Norte showed notable decrease in number of underweight children. Data on number of children who are stunted, those who are short for their age, lessened by 3 percentage points from 37.3% in 2011 to 34.3 % in 2013. All provinces in Caraga showed reduction in stunting. Meanwhile the number of children who were wasted, those whose weight is low for their height, also decreased by 1.1 percent to 7.5%.  The provinces of  Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur showed decreased number of wasted children.


On the other hand, the number of overweight children almost doubled from the 2011 rate of 1.9 % to the 2013 rate of 3.7%.  The result of the survey showed the extent of double burden of malnutrition in the region. While undernourished children are prone to infections and have weak resistance to fight off diseases, overnourished children are more at risk for diet-related non-communicable diseases. The challenge to nutrition stakeholders then is to reduce or eradicate the number of children who are not just undernourished  but also the overnourished. ###

nm 2014 nieJuly is the Nutrition Month as designated by PD 491 or Nutrition Act of the Philippines. The National Nutrition Council coordinates the nationwide celebration of Nutrition Month. This year the theme focuses on Nutrition in Emergency(NIE) with the theme: Kalamidad paghandaan: Gutom at malnutrisyon agapan! The focus on nutrition in emergencies aims to provide the venue for the general public to realize the importance of preparedness during emergencies, how to respond and what recovery measures can be taken to prevent death and worsening of malnutrition of affected population groups.


With efforts to promote NIE, the National Nutrition Council Caraga, in partnership with the Butuan City Nutrition Office kicked-off the Nutrition Month Celebration with a Jog for Health last July 2, 2014. This was attended by over 500 participants which included city officials, members of Regional Nutrition Committee(RNC), Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNSs) and members of Barangay Nutrition Committee. The Jog for Health started at Agusan del Norte provincial capitol grounds to Guingona Park.  At Guingona Park, the participants enjoyed the hataw dance fitness led by a barangay captain. Afterwards, the different barangay teams participated in the various contest such as chanting competition, nutri-jingle with emphasis on NM theme, jolliest group and best in jogging attire. A short program was then conducted to unveil the Nutrition Month theme. DOH Director Minerva P. Molon was assisted by Atty. Rema E. Burdeos, City Councilor in unveiling the tarp with the NM theme.  Director Molon talked about the NM theme and stressed how important preparedness is during disaster and emergencies. She commended the efforts of the local nutrition committees who participated in the activity.


Moreover, National Nutrition Council held a press conference on the Nutrition Month theme right after the launching activity. Over 20 media personnel from various network attended the event. Nutrition Officer III Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon conducted a brief lecture on the NM theme. The panelists for the conference included DOH Director Minerva P. Molon, DOH Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) representative Mr. Richard Maniago, OIC- City Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Nenita C. Rafanan and City Disaster and Risk Reduction Management Officer Ms. Grace Espere. Some of the issues raised were the timeliness and quantity of food packs for distribution during emergencies; the extent of readiness of the disaster coordinating council to respond during emergencies; existing programs and projects of NNC to address malnutrition problem; nutrition advocacy efforts of NNC and its scope, among others.  The respective questions were addressed by the panelist accordingly.


In the afternoon, a nutrition forum for Barangay Nutrition Scholars was conducted. The forum was attended by 120 BNSs and RNC members. Nutrition Officer III Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon discussed on the highlights of the Nutrition Month theme specifically as to why focus on NIE, nutrition management during emergencies, organization of the local nutrition cluster and key messages on NIE.  To ensure the audience participation, a question and answer portion, with corresponding collateral materials as token prize, was conducted focusing on the NM theme.    ###