A typical face of malnutrition around the country. - Websitepic
LEGAZPI CITY: For nearly two decades now, the province of Camarines Sur remains on top with regards to prevalence of malnutrition cases in the Bicol region despite its much-vaunted economic and tourism growth.
Data from the regional office of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) here show that the province of CamSur ranked first with 40,607 underweight and severely underweight pre-schoolers out of the 212,858 preschool children weighed last year. Of the total number, 3,334 preschool children were found to be overweight.
It was noted that the alarming incidence of malnutrition cases in CamSur has been taking place since the incumbency of former governor now House Representative Luis Villafuerte Sr, until the incumbency of his son, Gov Luis Raymund Villafuerte Jr, who is now on his last term.
Based on the consolidated nutritional status of pre-school children, “Operation Timbang 2011” results submitted by the different provincial and city health offices of the six provinces and seven cities of the Bicol Region to the National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional office, CamSur ranked first with grave malnutrition problems.
Next to Camarines Sur, the second province with highest cases of malnutrition is the island province of Catanduanes with 5,586 out of 30,532 preschoolers weighed, followed by Masbate with 19,931 out of 121,180 total preschoolers weighed.
The province of Albay ranked fourth with 17,883 combined underweight and severely underweight out of 119,960 preschoolers weighed, followed by Sorsogon province with 10,499 malnourished children out of 80,774 totally weighed.
Camarines Norte which ranked six has the lowest number of malnourished chidren,17,883 out of 119,960 weighed.
Arlene R Reario, NNC nutrition program coordinator said that the prevalence rate of malnutrition is determined by the total number of underweight and severely underweight pre-school children aged 0-17 months old.
The pre-school children’s nutritional status is based on WHO-Child Growth Standard using the weigh-for-age indicator.
There are 869,139 estimated number of preschooler children in Bicol, where 783,385, or 90.13%.
At least 657,203 reported under normal or with good nourishment condition while the combined undernourished and severely underweight ran to a total of 116,477 pre-school children.
Reginon wide, the total number of overweight preschoolers reached was posted at 9,705 or a prevalence rate of 1.24%.
The Philippine government is one of the signatories of the 189 United Nations member countries that reaffirmed their commitment to the millennium development goal of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger in the next few years.
Records at the NNC show that Bicol seem to have failed or is failing in addressing its malnutrition problem. – Bicol Mail