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ppan1BARAS, Palo, Leyte --"The distance between your dreams and reality is called ACTION!" Vice Mayor Maloney L. Samaco declared this as he shared Maasin City's best practices to combat malnutrition during the regional launching of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 (PPAN 2017-2022) on December 5, 2017 at the Oriental Hotel, here.

The one-day activity initiated by National Nutrition Council Region 8 (NNC-8) was attended by representatives from local government units (LGUs), partner-agencies, nutrition program implementers, Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8 (HIMSoG-8) members, Non-Government Organizations (NGOs), and other nutrition stake holders around the region.

Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr., Regional Nutrition Program coordinator of NNC-8, during his presentation of PPAN 2017-2022 challenged the congregation to "bite a chunk", and contribute to the realization of its goals.

 

The PPAN is the country's roadmap in its fight against malnutrition. It contains lists of plans, programs and activities with goals to measure progress for a period of six years--or one administration term.

PPAN 2017-2022, composed of 12 programs, is an integral part of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 that is consistent with Duterte Administration's 10-Point Economic Agenda as well as the Philippine Health Agenda. It aims to significantly improve the prevalence of stunting and wasting; lower the number of children suffering from micronutrient deficiency--or lack of vitamin A, Iron and Iodine; and lower or arrest the incidence of overweight and  obesity.

National Nutrition Survey in 2015 bares that 33.4% or 3.8 million children are stunted while 7.1% or 807,057 are wasted. It also showed that over-nutrition manifesting as overweight and obesity are emerging health concerns among children, and a major problem among adults with 18 million Filipinos overweight and obese.

The new nutrition roadmap specifically targets to reduce the prevalence of stunting currently at 33.4%, the highest in South East Asia, to 21% by year 2022.

During its national launching in Iloilo City on May 2, 2017, among others attended by NNC's media-group partners representatives from different regions nationwide, Department of Health Assistant-Secretary and NNC Executive Director  Maria-Bernardita T. Flores said, "If we achieve these goals we contribute to the improvement of quality to our human resource base, reduce inequality, and reduce maternal and child mortality."  (Jack C. Gadaingan)