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sunCANDAHUG, Palo, Leyte -- Scaling-Up Nutrition (SUN)   in Eastern Visayas got a push in an “Orientation and Advocacy Meeting” conducted by the Family Health Unit of the Department of Health Region VIII (DoH-8) on July 21, 2016 at DOH regional office, here. The one-day event, which gave focus on the First 1000 Days of Life, was attended by staff and personnel of Family Health Unit and Health Promotion Unit of DOH-RO VIII , Provincial Health Officers, City Health Officers, Nutrition Program Coordinators, Health Education and Promotion Officers and Development and Management officers from various provinces and cities in the region. Speakers were Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr., Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of National Nutrition Council Region 8 (NNC-8), who tackled the Local Nutrition Situation; and Felicita R. Borata, DOH Regional Nutrition Program Manager, who took up the SUN Movement and the First 1000 Days.

It was learned that SUN is a worldwide movement founded on the principle--that all people have a right to food and good nutrition. That it is supporting 55 countries, which the Philippines recently became a member.

 

In SUN approach, country and governments shall lead national efforts to scale up nutrition; in each country there shall be a SUN Focal Point identified; and that this Focal Point shall bring people together in a multi-stakeholder platform (Technical Community, United Nations, Government Partners, Civil Society, Donors, Business).

The multi-stakeholder platform works to align and coordinate action across sectors (Health, Women’s Empowerment, Education, Social Protection, Agriculture, Development and Poverty Reduction). With overall support and coordination provided by the SUN Secretariat and SUN Lead Group, the Global Networks of stakeholders shift resources and align actions to support the country efforts.

Within each country, SUN Movement stakeholders are brought together by around 4 key processes, wherein progress is reviewed every six weeks:

1. Creating Political and Operational Platforms, with strong in-country leadership and shared multi-stakeholder spaces where people come together to align their activities and take joint responsibility for scaling up nutrition;

2. Incorporating Best Practices into National Policies for scaling up proven interventions-- including the adoption of effective laws and policies;

3. Align Actions Across Sectors around high quality and well-costed country plans, with an agreed results framework and mutual accountability;

4. And Increasing Resources and Monitoring Implementation for coherent, aligned, effective action and maximum impact.

The Philippine commitment to the SUN Movement is to engage and scale up implementation of various intervention package focus on the on the First 1000 days of Life .   Nutrition Experts worldwide have reasoned out that the “First 1000 Days of Life” is the unique period to give a child the Right Start of Life Forever! A critical “Window of Opportunity” to battle with the irreversible effects of under nutrition, of which data shows that in the Philippines 34,143 children die every year--or 95 child deaths a day associated with malnutrition.

In order to prevent child undernutriton and ensure that children in Eastern Visayas will achieve their full potential for growth and development, DOH-Eastern Visayas will invest and push for a wider coverage on various nutrition specific interventions such as   optimum maternal nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding , age appropriate complimentary feeding, micronutrient supplementation and management of acute malnutrition.

The 1000 Days window starts from the first day of conception until the 2nd birthday of the child : This means the entire Pregnancy - 9 mos x30 days = 270 days + First 2 years – 365 days x 2=730 days = 1000 DAYS. (JCG)