family muac trainingTACLOBAN CITY – The first Family Mid-Upper Arm Circumference (MUAC) online training in the Philippines was successfully conducted last 19 June 2020. As the country continues to respond to and adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic, this training is one of the adaptations for the continuity of health and nutrition services. The online training is the first virtual Family MUAC training in the East Asia Pacific Region.

The three-hour training of trainers (TOT) was aimed to revisit the key concepts of acute malnutrition and the Four Guiding Principles of the Philippine Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition (PIMAM); define the Family MUAC approach; share how Family MUAC can be used as a method to help improve early identification of acute malnutrition and PIMAM coverage and; apply the knowledge and study obtained in planning and implementing Family MUAC at the community level.  

home gardeningAs the entire nation continues to combat the coronavirus pandemic, among the top priorities of every Filipino family is the security of their own food. With many jobs indefinitely suspended, Filipinos are looking for ways to serve their families with inexpensive but nutritious food. What better way is available than growing vegetables and fruits in the backyard?

The Department of Agriculture (DA), along with local government units, has been ensuring that food production in the country continues to flow amid the corona crisis. Where a self-sufficient and sustainable food source is concerned, home gardening is the best option.

There are many benefits that backyard gardening provides to families. Since the entire country is still in quarantine, people are discouraged from going out of the houses. Home gardening can be an effective form of exercise to all family members. Since everyone is at home, people have the time to plant and tend to a garden in the backyard. In fact, gardening is a great thing for children to learn and do with their parents. Not only will they learn how to grow food, they will also imbibe the values needed in gardening such as patience, care, and endurance.

no milkPALO, LEYTE – The Department of Education Regional Office VIII released its Regional Memorandum 261, series of 2020 reiterating the Milk Code of the Philippines and the guidelines on the acceptance and processing of foreign and local donations during emergency and disaster situation. This came about during the Regional Nutrition Cluster Meeting discussion on COVID-19 nutrition-related issues, wherein reports were forwarded that some groups of teachers were asking for help to include milk formula to be included in the food packs. This was, however, trapped through the vigilant social media monitoring and active case finding by the members of the Nutrition Cluster.

The memorandum which was signed by Regional Director Ramir B. Uytico on 13 May 2020 would like to remind all officials and personnel of the Department of Education not to donate nor accept donations of infant formula or any breast milk substitute to infants and young children.

Section 8 of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulation of Executive Order 51 statement C provides that promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding and the proper implementation of the Milk Code shall be an integral part of all information, education, and communication plans and training activities of the Department of Health, as well as that of the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Local Government Units and other concerned agencies.

compendiumTACLOBAN CITY – On 4 June, the Nutrition Action Officers’ Association of Eastern Visayas virtually convened for its 2nd Quarter Meeting via the online platform Zoom, with the attendance of ten (10) members and their representatives: PNAO of Eastern Samar Ms. Sallie Jabinal, CNAO of Tacloban City Ms. Ma. Lumen Tabao, PNAO of Northern Samar Ms. Annabelle Parane, PNAO of Leyte Ms. Estela Therese de Guzman, PNAO of Samar Ms. Alba Gadin, CNAO of Catbalogan City Ms. Michelle Aquino, CNAO of Baybay City Ms. Kristine Shayne Castos, DNPC of Biliran Mr. Rio Rosales, DNPC of Samar Ms. Cynthia Palileo, and CNPC of Ormoc City Ms. Rhiesa Lydia Nastor.

One of the main agenda items discussed during the meeting was on the Compendium of Local Ordinances on Nutrition.

ev nut clusterPALO, LEYTE – In a meeting conducted 6 May 2020, the Regional Nutrition Cluster reiterates its strong advocacy towards the prohibition of milk donations, which is observed through social media, by groups or individuals who are seeking milk donation drives and the like.

EO 51 or the Philippine Milk Code protects and promotes breastfeeding and regulates the marketing of breastmilk substitutes, breastmilk supplements, and other related products. The products covered by the code include breastmilk substitutes and other milk products, feeding bottles and teats, foods and beverages marketed as a partial or total replacement of breastmilk, complementary foods, and other products that may undermine breastfeeding.

HypertensionAs the world continues to battle against the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Health (DOH) warns Filipinos that people with high blood pressure are at an increased risk for more severe complications of COVID-19.

In the latest data from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines ranked 44th with the highest number of hypertension deaths in the world. Statistics from the same studies also reveal that 1 out of 4 Filipinos are hypertensive and are more susceptible to stroke and other critical heart diseases.

Hypertension is delineated by WHO as an arterial disease accompanied by high blood pressure which can lead to dangerous health complications such as the heightened risk for cardiovascular and kidney diseases. DOH also revealed that hypertension is more prevalent among Filipino adults aged 20 years and older and remains among the identified precipitating causes of mortality in the country.