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RO9 LGU of PayaoThe Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022, is the country’s framework for nutrition action. It aims to improve the nutrition situation of the country and contribute to the achievement of AmBisyon Natin 2040, particularly in improving human capital and reducing its vulnerabilities brought about by malnutrition. It also gives importance to the first 1,000 days of life because good nutrition starts in the mother’s womb. It is very important to address maternal nutrition. Survey results from the 2015 National Nutrition Survey shows that the prevalence of nutritionally-at-risk women has not improved over the years.

In support of the PPAN’s dietary supplementation program for pregnant women, the municipality of Payao in Zamboanga Sibugay conducted an orientation on the Milk Feeding Program on July 14 to 15, 2020 at the municipal building with 38 pregnant mothers from Barangay Poblacion. The activity aims to assure the commitment of the pregnant women or mothers-to-be to drink fresh chocolate milk for 90 days and eat 1 piece of egg regularly. This is to maintain their normal nutritional status and to attain the optimum growth and development of the growing fetus. Likewise, their activity is in support of the First 1000 Days program of the government. Last year, the LGU of Payao was able to conduct the same program to 23 barangays and 128 pregnant mothers benefited from the said program.

RO9 IOsOnce again a virtual gathering happened on 16 July 2020 where 26 participants convene for a virtual thematic symposium on the 46th Nutrition Month Celebration. The activity was attended by Regional Information Officers, Nutrition Action Officers, and other health and nutrition workers. The National Nutrition Council Regional Office 9 headed by Nutrition Program Coordinator Nimfa D. Ekong spearheaded the conduct of the activity to discuss this year’s Nutrition Month theme “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19!”

As mentioned in the welcome message of NPC Ekong that improving the nutrition situation of our country cannot be achieved by the generosity of a single sector’s spoon alone. It requires collaboration in creating and recreating ideas; seeking unity and totality of approach toward nutrition adequacy for all Filipinos. Thus she encouraged the participants and their agencies to be one of the spoons and contribute to the improvement of the nutrition situation not only in our region but in the whole country.

RO9 How mothers can take part to prevent stuntingChild stunting is considered a national and global issue as it is an irreversible outcome of inadequate nutrition and repeated bouts of infection during the first 1000 days of a child’s life. According to the  World Health Organization (WHO), childhood stunting is one of the most significant impediments to human development, globally affecting approximately 162 million children under the age of 5 years. From the latest data of the Expanded National Nutrition Survey, one in three or over 30.3% of children 0-59 months old were stunted. The WHO classifies the prevalence of stunting in the Philippines as a public health problem.

RO9 HANSOAThe local government of Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte in coordination with the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Regional office 9 launched the “Health and Nutrition School on the Air” (HANSOA) on 6 July 2020 with almost 120 enrollees. It is the LGU’s own version of the original Nutrition School on the Air (NSOA) of  NNC which aims to promote and provide correct information on the importance of good nutrition and healthy lifestyle through the discussion of 10-Kumainments over the radio. Now with the conduct of HANSOA in the municipality of Siayan, the sessions on health programs and services are incorporated in the radio program every week.  The HANSOA is aired in the Nutriswkela Community Radio – Radyo Kahupayan in the municipality of Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte which was established in May 2015.

During the launching of HANSOA, Mayor Josecor S. Gepolongca attended the activity to show his support on the health and nutrition programs in the municipality. He is very much thankful to NNC for the establishment of  Radio Kahupayan for being the venue in bringing information on health and nutrition services closer to the people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic where everybody has the limitations to do things face to face. Likewise, Mayor Gepolongca also commended the Health and Nutrition personnel headed by Dr. Raymund Nadela, Muncipal Health Officer and Ms. Judalyn Dompales, Municipal Nutrition Action Officer for their initiatives in making the program possible even with the current situation. He also encouraged every Siayanons to actively participate and listen to HANSOA to learn more about health and nutrition. Indeed, through the conduct of HANSOA correct information are disseminated, and misconceptions are corrected.

RO9 LaunchingAside from the regional virtual launch of the 2020 Nutrition Month Celebration on 01 July 2020, municipalities, cities, and provinces of Zamboanga Peninsula also launched the 2020 Nutrition Month Celebration in their respective localities.  This year’s Nutrition Month focuses on Stunting, a form of undernutrition which is being short for one’s age when compared to the WHO Child Growth Standards. Hence the theme “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19!”

RO9 Donate BloodBlood is essential to one’s survival. It is a body fluid that delivers necessary substances such as nutrients and oxygen to the cells and transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. The Philippine Red Cross estimates that more than 2,000 blood units [JAG1] are being transfused to patients all over the country every day. However, the task of recruiting voluntary blood donors remains a major challenge. Thus, July of every year is declared as the “Blood Donors Month” by former President Fidel V. Ramos per Proclamation No. 1021.

According to the Philippine Red Cross, whole blood donations are separated into components using a special equipment to generate one unit of red blood cells, plasma and platelets. Thus, one donation can help save three lives.

There’s no question as to the benefits of donating blood for those who need it. But did you know that blood donors also benefit from donating blood regularly?