Non-smoking fathers have healthier children, DOH says

October 7, 2011

CATBALOGAN CITY – The Center for Health Development of Region VIII, through its Regional Nutritionist/Dietician, Emily Grande stressed today that, indeed, children whose fathers are not smoking cigarettes have better health status.

This she said yesterday, during the program launch of “Expanded Garantisadong Pambata”.

Quitting smoking among parents, elders and caregivers, is one of the eight strategies to significantly reduce the high prevalence of malnutrition, Grande pointed out, as she referred to the high prevalent rate of malnourished children in the province.

According to her, concerned agencies in the area should work hard together because the country is committed to reduce nutrition-related infant morbidity and deaths among children and mothers by 2015.

Foremost, mothers should again be reminded that breastmilk is the best milk the world has ever produced for children, thus breastfeeding must be their primordial concern once a new baby comes to the family. This is followed by complete immunization, Vitamin A supplementation, deworming, proper hand-washing, proper toothbrushing, and toilet use.

“Expanded Garantisadong Pambansa” launched in Samar

October 6, 2011

CATBALOGAN CITY – The current high malnutrition prevalence in the province which is pegged at 30% is expected to be curbed with today’s launching of the “Expanded Garantisadong Pambata” (E-GP).

In the program, Ms. Emily Grande, Regional Nutritionist of the Center for Health Development VIII, Palo, Leyte, urged Samar’s health workers and service providers to work doubly together so they could contribute to the country’s commitment to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) by 2015.

“Then, malnutrition prevalence in Samar should be curbed to hit half of the current 30%, or 15% reduction from the current mark”, Ms. Grande said.

Beforehand, Dr. Dulce Cernal stressed that Expanded GP is such, that unlike before when it was administered twice a month, it would now be on a daily basis, providing the facility in the home, school and just anywhere, where children are found.

“This health event is not new to us, and this GP is only one strategy to support our achievement of the MDG goals to reduce children illnesses and deaths,” Dr. Cernal spoke to her co-health workers around who were midwives, nurses and municipal health doctors.

The program launched today was well attended by partner agencies who manifested support to the GP: PLAN Philippines, USAID representatives, DepEd, PSWD, PNP, DILG, DA, PIA, Samar Provincial Health Office, and the province Rural Health Units.

Nutribun sa Paaralan gets moving in Eastern Samar

September 22, 2011

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar – A one-of-a-kind project of DepEd funded by the UNICEF is rolling in Eastern Samar.

The Nutribun sa Paaralan, serving ten elementary schools in the province is now trying to nourish children with nutritional problems.

According to Mr Roy Ador, Program Director, Factoria Elementary School in Oras town now bakes 'fortified bibingka' that the school sells at discounted prices. The proceeds then afford to feed malnourished school children with nutritious food.

When asked where Nutribun is, as it bears the name of the project, Ador replied: "Any bread or eatable considered as nutritious snack is called nutribun!"

The project benefits ten schools in Eastern Samar, identified by DepEd as the schools with high malnutrition prevalence.

This project, according to Ador in the 3rd provincial nutrition committee meeting at the capitol, is aimed to address not only malnutrition in the identified schools but also to increase participation and achievement rates of school children.

Elementary schools in Buenavista, Arteche; Factoria, Oras; Malainao and Polangi, Taft; Aguinaldo, Gen MacArthur; Waso and Piliw, Llorente; Garawon, Hernani: Eugenio Abunda in Borongan; and Tabo, San Policarpo have been given bakery equipments by UNICEF.

"The materials for baking bread to be sold in schools will come from the MOOE of the school," Ador added. "If we will just feed the malnourished children, this will only last a few days, but if we sell some of the products we will be able to sustain the program," he explained.

Parents and students are helping this bakery project. When asked if this will not disrupt the classes of the students, Ador said that students and parents will take turns while students in Technology and Home Economics will also help as part of their instructions.

Eastern Samar is one province that has high in malnutrition prevalence not only of children 0-5 years old but also of school age children.

"We are grateful to UNICEF as it only took two months after we submitted the proposal and they were able to deliver the bakery equipments," Ador said.

The Nutribun project hopes to achieve a better nutrition for target beneficiaries.

Breastmilk and complementary foods critical to the child's first three years says PNAO

September 21, 2011

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar – Breastmilk and complementary food are critical to the child's first three years according to Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Sallie Jabinal, during the third quarter meeting of the Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) in Eastern Samar on Tuesday.

The PNC is concerned about the stunting of Eastern Samar kids aged 0-5 years old. According to the data released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 35.2% are underheight in Eastern Samar. The survey was done in 2008.

There is good news though as regards to underweight, the status of Eastern Samareños of the same age is better, with only 19.0 in percentage as underweight as compared to the regional prevalence which is 26.4 and the national which is 20.7.

Stunting is also a problem with school children with 44.6% prevalence higher than the national which is 33.9%.

As such, the PNC said that mothers should be aware of the results of not breastfeeding their children. A study roughly estimated that mothers breastfeed only exclusively for two months as reasons include going back to work and the myth that 'the mother do not have enough milk.

Most families are also not keen on the preparation of complementary foods for kids aged 6 months onwards.

In one instance, Jabinal even suggested a desperate move: "Suggest to the Pantawid municipal advisory committee to delist families who will not attend Pabasa sa Nutrisyon," Jabinal suggested.

Pabasa sa Nutrisyon is a lesson on nutrition lectured to mothers especially those with very young children. The Pantawid program implementors have yet to hear about this drastic suggestion by the PNC.

As a whole, the PNC is advocating nutrition to LGUs where most of whom are lukewarm to the campaign.

Magna Carta for Barangay Nutrition Scholars turned over for legislation

August 10, 2011

TACLOBAN CITY – A bill that will improve the working conditions of the country’s Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) was recently turned over for Eastern Visayas’ legislators to sponsor and pass in Congress.

Region 8 BNS Federation President Lydia Nuñez, together with Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Edgardo M. Gonzaga and National Nutrition Council (NNC) Regional Director Carina Z. Santiago, handed to Southern Leyte lone district Cong. Roger G. Mercado the draft Magna Carta of BNS in front of the cheering 4,000 BNSs during the conduct of the 1st Eastern Visayas BNS Congress held July 28, 2011, this city.

Director Gonzaga, Chair of the Regional Nutrition Committee who drafted the proposed bill, appealed to all congressmen of Region 8 to sponsor and support the passage of the measure in Congress, saying once legislated, it would strengthen the BNS Program.

The six-page draft Magna Carta proposes for the State to adopt the BNS Program as a human resource development strategy of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition. This involves the training, deployment and supervision of volunteer workers or BNSs. This was a strategy mandated with the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 1569, which requires the deployment of one BNS in every barangay and for the NNC to administer the program in cooperation with local government units (LGUs).

A Barangay Nutrition Scholar, in the proposed legislation, means a trained community worker who links the community with service providers, with the following qualifications: bonafide resident of the Barangay for at least one (1) year, with ability to speak the dialect; possession of leadership potentials and the initiative and willingness to serve the Barangay for at least one (1) year; willingness to learn, and to teach what he/she has learned to the Barangay people; at least high school graduate; physical and mental fitness; and at least 18 years old but not more than 60 years old.

Aside from the “knowledge that they have served their community by helping prevent unnecessary child deaths” as their best reward, the BNSs shall enjoy the following benefits, privileges and incentives as proposed in the draft Magna Carta: (1) After completing two consecutive years of satisfactory service, the BNS can avail of a second grade civil service eligibility, which gives them the chance to become a full-fledged civil servant should the BNS qualify for a vacant position in the local government; (2) BNSs shall be entitled to an allowance of at least Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) per month; (3) BNSs shall also receive a yearly uniform allowance for the purchase of uniform t-shirt and jacket/vest, etc, from the LGU; (4) BNSs shall be enrolled in PhilHealth under the Indigent Program of the LGU; (5) BNSs shall be entitled to hazard pay of One Hundred Twenty Pesos (P120.00) per month; and (6) The NNC, in coordination with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, shall formulate a scholarship program where incumbent and deserving BNSs shall be given the opportunity to avail of a scholarship grant in any institution offering two-year courses, it was gathered.