Negros Oriental - Malnutrition in children is a major problem our country is facing. According to UNICEF Philippines, “Every day, 95 children in the Philippines die from malnutrition. Twenty-seven out of 1,000 Filipino children do not get past their fifth birthday. A third of Filipino children are stunted, or short for their age. Stunting after 2 years of age can be permanent, irreversible and even fatal.”
Growth monitoring of infants and children is an integral part of the child’s health surveillance. So how can we identify and locate malnourished children in our community? Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus is conducted annually to measure the weight and height of all 0-59 months old children. It is done every first quarter of the year through house-to-house visits, weighing posts, or by clustering the children in the community. Barangay health and nutrition workers conducts OPT Plus to locate and identify preschoolers who are underweight, stunted, wasted, or overweight. The data collected will be used as basis in developing barangay spot maps, problem tree of malnutrition, and formulating the nutrition action plans. This is essential in realizing interventions that are suitable to address the malnutrition problem(s) of children.
The National Nutrition Council Region VII encourages every parent to let their 0-59 months old children’s weight and height be taken by their barangay health and nutrition workers to track the nutritional status as well as taking a step in helping our Local Government Units have an accurate basis for the planning and assessing their local nutrition programs. You may visit your Barangay Health Stations to know your barangay’s schedule for OPT Plus. // ND II Shaira Vita A. Calumpang, RND