Child malnutrition rate slightly declines in Central Visayas
CEBU CITY, Philippines – The number of underweight children in the Central Visayas or Region 7 has dropped slightly. According to data presented by the National Nutrition Council 7 (NNC-7), the number of underweight children from the Central Visayas has "continuously dropped" since 2013.
In 2013, 5.28 out of 100 children were underweight. In 2015, that rate dropped to 4.9 per 100 children. For 2016, the council is still in the process of gathering data on underweight children.
Overall, the Philippines, however, failed to reach its target in halving the number of underweight children nationwide. (READ: PH fails to halve malnutrition within 25 years)
Dr Parolita A. Mission, Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC) of the National Nutrition Council 7 (NNC-7), presented the data on child malnutrition and other hunger issues in the region on June 15, in preparation for nutrition month activities this coming July.
"According to the National Nutrition Council, the primary objective of this year's 42nd Nutrition Month celebration, set for this July, is to increase the awareness on the importance of proper nutrition and early childhood care and development during the first 1,000 days of life from conception," Mission said.
In Cebu province, malnutrition is the highest among preschool children with a 7.28% rating in 2015.
Mission said there are three major variables in the problem of malnutrition. The first is the caring practices of a mother which involves how they prepare their food, and how they take care of their baby. Second is the availability of food, and the last variable is the accessibility of health facilities.
The event launch will be held on July 1 at the Mountain Wing Atrium, SM Seaside City Cebu, SRP in Cebu City with the theme, "First 1,000 Days Ni Baby Pahalagahan, Para Sa Malusog Na Kinabukasan."
Some of the activities include a Nutriathlon or a multiple-staged competition similar to a "triathlon", but instead of strenuous physical activities, the activities will be health-related.
There will be a maternity fashion show, a breastfeeding photo contest, and a food preparation video contest.
Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) president Dr Joseph Stephen A. Descallar said the activity will not only highlight class, but will also encourage mothers to become more confident and eager to take good care of themselves, especially during their pregnancy.
NNC 7 and DNA-PNA are also encouraging interested pregnant and lactating mothers to take part in this activity by attending the launch activity or modeling the designers' clothes.
Mission said the activities are expected to bring not only entertainment to the attendees, but also to emphasize the importance of proper nutrition, especially in a child's first 1,000 days of life. – Rappler.com
Jan Moises Alarcon is a Rappler intern based in Cebu.
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