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baybayBAYBAY CITY -- This city is predominantly an agri-fishery-based economy as 66 of its 92 barangays are productive uplands and 26 are fish-rich coastal areas. But despite its vast natural resources and fast emerging development, malnutrition is still a big problem of this 8-year-old city.

That is generally the nutrition situation of Baybay City which came to the fore during the orientation, launching and media caravan on Early Childhood Care and Development Intervention Package for the First 1000 Days (ECCD-IP) held Sept. 1, 2016 at the city gymnasium here.

The day-long activities was initiated by the regional office of the National Nutrition Council (NNC-8), together with its media partner HIMSOg-8 or the Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8, representatives from the Regional Nutrition Technical Working Group (RTWG) and attended by the local chief executive, city nutrition committee members, barangay captains, barangay nutrition scholars (BNSs), RHU Public Health nurses, midwives and other stakeholders in the city.

The situationer-report was presented by City Nutrition Action Officer (CNAO) Mitzie L. Ocañada, and supported by City Health Officer Dr. Cecillie B. Milan during the open forum that followed.

It said that of the 12,104 children from 0-71 months weighed this year 1615 were underweight and 519 severely underweight and the most number of underweight were 60-71 months age group. Further, there were 2166 stunted children, 1305 severely stunted with stunting prevalence in the 48-59 months children. Also, 495 were wasted and 541 severely wasted children mostly in 12-23 months demographic.

Out of 1,198 day care children 300 were malnurishe4d and out of which 249 were underweight and 16 obese.

In terms of underweight prevalence among school children the city recorded some 16,139 (from Kinder to Grade VI) for which results showed about 3.9% severely wasted while prevalence of wasted was about 9.9% and 13.8% for combined prevalence of severely and wasted  schoolchildren.

The report likewise suggested that Brgy. Kabunggaan and Brgy. Banahao had the highest percentage of underweight children at 56.25% each.

Dr. Milan explained that initiatives on health, agriculture, social welfare and education are being intensified to counter malnutrition problem. She said Baybay City is fortunate to be among the recipients of the 90 days supplementary feeding program being an ASSAP or Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program city. This started last April 27 with 100 severely underweight children. The outcome has far been encouraging in that 14 of the 35 who had improved nutritional status, became normal.

Baybay City Mayor Carmen L. Cari reiterated in her welcome address and pledge of Commitment to fully support the ECCD-IP program and continue the city’s emphasis on health, especially the implementation of Maternal and Child Health Care (MCH) package ordinance, provision of micronutrients to pregnant and lactating mothers, provision of birthing facilities, and such other health initiatives.

            NNC-8 Regional Program Coordinator Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo Jr. thoroughly explained during his power-point presentation all about the ECCD-IP/1000 Days. The package refers to the full range of health, nutrition, early education, and social services development programs for the holistic needs of young children. It further narrows down the age-group First 1000 Days of life referred to as the ‘golden window of opportunity’ for child’s growth and development--that includes the time of conception (pregnancy) until the baby is born and two years of age. (Alberto E. Lesiguez)