Sunday, 25 March 2012

Fewer malnourished kids in CamNorte

THE province of Camarines Norte has been found to have the least number of malnourished children based on Operation Timbang program carried out last year in the Bicol region, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) said.

The regional report of OT  for last year showed that among the six provinces in Bicol, Camarines Sur ranked first in the prevalence of underweight children with 19 per cent, followed by Catanduanes (2nd) with 18.3 per cent; Masbate (3rd) with 16.39 per cent; Albay (4th) with 14.91 per cent, Sorsogon (5th) with 13 percent and Camarines Norte (6th) with 12.97 per cent.

NNC study shows that 116,498 or 14.89 per cent of children in Bicol are malnourished, while 3 percent or 3,500 children are severely malnourished.

It is for this reason that a non-government organization (NGO) from Spain – the Intervida Philippines Foundation – has joined the NNC in the fight against this public health issue.

Intervida, NNC and several local government units in Bicol recently signed a memorandum of agreement (MoA) to carry out an intensive intervention project that will curb the problem of malnutrition among children in at least 11 towns in Bicol.

Intervida Program Manager Nerissa Dimapilis, during the project presentation, said Bicol is the second highest among regions in the country with the alarming prevalence of malnourished children with ages ranging from 0 to 5 years old.

Dimapilis cited the NNC study which showed that Bicol has surpassed the FNRI national average on malnutrition incidence.

The project involves smooth coordination among the various local nutrition committees at the provincial, municipal and barangay levels.

Under the MOA, Intervida and NNC will provide training and coaching on nutrition program management, and material and technical assistance in the project implementation.

Malnutrition is a condition resulting from lack of intake of required energy or protein or both, characterized by marked loss of weight and growth.

Children afflicted with malnutrition are physically stunted and suffer from poor mental development, infections, lower school performance, lower levels of productivity, and in extreme cases, death.  

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