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RO9 MRPTungawanThe Department of Science and Technology Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) launched its Malnutrition Reduction Program (MRP) in 2011. The MRP is DOST’s response to address the persistent problem of malnutrition among Filipino infants and young children. The program uses a mix of intervention on local technology, supplementary feeding, and nutrition education. One of the interventions include the DOST PINOY (Package for the Improvement of Nutrition Of Young Children) which uses feeding of FNRI-developed, local based complementary foods made of rice, mongo, and sesame, rich in protein ang energy among six months to below three years old children and nutrition education of their mothers and caregivers.

The Municipality of Tungawan in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay is a beneficiary of the setting up of DOST’s assisted Complementary Food Production Facility. The program started in their locality on 2 December 2014 when DOST-FNRI conducted a DOST PINOY advocacy among Municipal Nutrition Committee (MNC) members and thereafter, a two-day training-workshop on nutrition modules and cooking demonstration was held on 13-14 January 2015. In line with this, the LGU of Tungawan adopted the largescale complementary food production and its facility was inaugurated on 13 May 2015.

RO9 BreastCancerBreast Cancer is strikingly the leading type of cancer worldwide. Anyone can suffer from this either young or old, rich or poor, with family history or not, women and even men, and that may include you. Breast cancer if early detected may be cured. Therefore, it is very important that everyone, most especially women, should be aware of the screening methods for breast cancer and to regularly practice them. Hence, every month of October is celebrated as Breast Cancer Awareness Month worldwide that aims to increase awareness and support for early detection, treatment and palliative care of the disease.

According to the 2015 Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates, breast cancer is the most common cancer with 22,267 cases and ranked 3rd among the leading causes of cancer-related deaths among Filipinos next to lung and liver cancer. Presently, there is no adequate information on the causes of breast cancer but early detection of the disease remains the foundation to control and prevent it.  With available and adequate diagnosis and treatment, there is a high possibility that  cancer will be cured. As part of the response to this public health concern, the Department of Health (DOH) established the Breast Cancer Medicines Access Program in 2011 in seven (7) access sites in the Philippines and in 2018, access to breast cancer medicines was expanded to another 7 health institutions including Zamboanga City Medical Center in the Zamboanga Peninsula.

RO9 ElderlyFilipinoWeekPursuant to Proclamation No. 470, the first week of October every year is celebrated as Elderly Filipino Week or Linggo ng Katandaang Filipino to maximize the contribution of Senior Citizens to nation building and to promote the well-being of elderly Filipinos in the society.

Senior citizens are people with age of 60 years or older. In the Philippines, the number of older people is increasing rapidly, representing 8.6 % of the total population. And as ageing population grows, the demand for health services also increases as this age group usually suffers from both degenerative and communicable diseases due to the ageing of the body’s immune system. Most leading causes of seniors’ morbidity are infections, visual impairment, difficulty in walking, chewing and hearing, osteoporosis, arthritis and other common health-related problems.

To show our gratitude to our elderly for taking care of us during our younger years, it is now our time to take care of them in their most vulnerable years wherein this is the time they needed us the most.  People who practiced good health habits when they were younger opt to become healthy seniors, but it is not yet too late. Good health habits can make a big difference even to seniors who are prone to illness or failed to prioritize their health in the past. Here are some guides to follow to keep up with the health needs of a parent or loved ones who are in their senior years:

RO9 Mental HealthThe World Health Organization (WHO) defined mental health as a state of well-being where a person can realize his or her own abilities to cope with normal stresses of life and work productively. In reality, this definition emphasizes that mental health is not just the absence of psychiatric disorder or illness but a positive state of wellbeing. Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects our thinking, feelings as well as our actions. Mental health is important at every stage of life from childhood through adulthood. If someone experiences mental health problems, his thinking, mood and behavior will be affected. Thus, National Mental Health Week is celebrated every second week of October pursuant to Proclamation No. 452, which was signed by former President Fidel V. Ramos in 1994 which is in accordance with the celebration of World Mental Health Day on October 10. And P.N. 452 which aims to raise greater public awareness and support for mental health. It has triggered more active international communications, which lead to a stronger adaptation worldwide among participating organizations.

According to Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque there is an increase in monthly calls in the hotlines of National Center for Mental Health (NCMH) regarding depression, with numbers rising from 80 calls pre-lockdown to nearly 400. It is in this regard that Secretary Duque emphasized the importance of mental health. “The importance of mental health initiatives is just as crucial as those for the COVID-19 pandemic… Now more than ever, we need to promise holistic health, where we are caring for the body, the mind, and even the spirit”

RO9 SugarConsumptionSugar can be found naturally in all foods that contain carbohydrates such as in grains, dairy as well as in fruits and vegetables. Consuming whole foods that contain natural sugar is okay, however, problems occur when too much added sugar is consumed. Studies have shown that eating too much sugar can have many negative effects on our health and it can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cancer and tooth decay.

During this modern age, we cannot deny the fact that it is really difficult to cut off or lessen our sugar consumption with all the food and beverages that catch our attention such as milk teas, soft drinks, cakes, cookies, and ice cream. There are ways to reduce our sugar intake as excessive consumption of added sugar has many negative health effects.

1. Swap soft drinks, energy drinks, and powdered juices for water

You may opt to drink more water. Aside from having zero calories, it is also good for your health! You can also add slices of lemon or cucumber for a refreshing drink.

2. Avoid sugar-loaded desserts

Avoid craving for those cakes, pies, cookies, ice creams and doughnuts. They are loaded with sugar, which causes blood sugar spikes and can leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving more sugar.

RO9 WebbySince 2014, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) gives due recognition to regional offices for commendable performance in the management of NNC Website under various categories in the NNC Webby Awards which is held annually. However, it was noted that there are a number of critical performance indicators that were not being recognized by the annual webby awards. Thus, the NNC launched the NNC-Q Special Webby Awards which will be conducted every quarter.  Six (6) types of special award shall be presented every quarter, namely: (1) NNC-Q Webby Award for the Highest Number of Articles Posted; (2) NNC-Q Webby Award for the Most Visited Webpage; (3) NNC-Q Webby Award for the Highest Number of Likes; (4) NNC-Q Webby Award for the Highest Social Media Engagement; (5) NNC-Q Webby Award for the Highest Social Media Reach; and (6) NNC-Q Webby Award for the Most Visible Social Media Account.

All awards were solely adjudged on website and Facebook analytics and the regional office who registered the highest number of statistics for each of the award every quarter shall be declared the winner, 1st and 2nd runner up.