LAOAG CITY, July 13 (PIA) –In observance of Nutrition Month this July, the Provincial Nutrition Action Office (PNAO) eyes to conduct education campaign engaging mothers and children in far-flung villages in Ilocos Norte.
Elma S. Irapta, provincial nutritionist, said they are set to conduct one-on-one counselling to mothers and their children to address problems on malnutrition.
Irapta said that malnutrition continues to be prevalent among children and notes that good nutrition begins at home thus, the need to educate the parents.
“We have in the list for the community outreach program the San Marcelino village in Dingras town where malnutrition rate is really high and there are also Indigenous Peoples (IPs) communities there that might need our help,” she said.
In Ilocos Norte, the prevalence rate of malnutrition has remarkably decreased in the past two years. Records show that the higher rate was in 2013 at 7.53 percent but declined in 2014 at 5.06 percent. A slight increase was recorded in 2015 at 5.18 percent.
Christine Caroy, nutrition coordinator, said that the slim rise of malnutrition rate in the province from 2014 to 2015 was due to diseases and sickness as claimed by the Barangay Health Workers (BHW) and Municipal Nutrition Action Officers (MNAO).
In the recent PNC planning workshop, Irapta has urged various national agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to strengthen their programs in support to the monthlong celebration.
She further emphasized the key responsibility of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) in delegating local chief executives to design an expanded nutrition plan and ensure their integration in the existing local programs.
With this, Irapta enjoined each barangay to support the Nutrition Month celebration and come-up with related activities in their community to heighten awareness of residents on the importance of proper nutrition.
To intensity their nutrition program, the PNC also eyes to distribute health kits, food packs from DSWD, seedlings from the agriculture department and other direct services to address malnutrition problems.
According to the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the lead agency in celebrating Nutrition Month, this year’s theme is “First 1000 Days ni baby pahalagahan para sa malusog ng kinabukasan” which underscores the importance in the development years of a child from conception to his second birthday. (JNPD/CJDG, PIA1-Ilocos Norte)