NAVAL, Biliran– The nutritional status of children aged 0-59 months in Biliran has improved in 2023 as compared to the previous year, an official of the Biliran Provincial Health Office (PHO) said.

The comparative report on the nutritional status of children 0-59 months old was based on Operation Timbang (OPT) conducted in 2023 and 2022, the results of which were discussed by PHO nutrition program coordinator Rio R. Rosales during the year-end meeting of the Provincial Nutrition Council.

Rosales reported that improvement in eight nutritional areas was recorded last year, such as underweight (UW), severely underweight (SUW), stunted (ST), severely stunted (SST), moderately wasted (MW), severely wasted (SW), overweight, and obesity.

He said underweight cases in 2023 were recorded at 4.83 percent, a decrease compared with 5.64 percent in 2022, or 724 UW children, against 878 in 2023 and 2022, respectively.
In severely underweight children, 0.92 percent was recorded in 2023 compared to 1.26 percent in 2022, corresponding to 138 SU children in 2023 compared to 195 SU in 2022.
In stunted children, 8.67 percent was noted in 2023 compared to 10.26 percent in 2022, reflecting 1,300 ST children in 2023 compared to 1,570 ST in 2022.

For severely stunted children, 2.51 percent was recorded in 2023 compared to 3.04 percent in 2022, equivalent to 376 SST children in 2023 compared to 473 SST in 2022.

The moderately wasted population decreased from 3.43 percent in 2022 to 1.98 percent in 2023, compared to 3.43, or 297 MW children in 2023, compared to 534 MW in 2022.
For severely wasted, 0.58 percent was recorded in 2023 compared to 1.27 percent in 2022, a reduction in the number of cases from 197 SW children in 2022 to 87 SW children in 2023.

Overweight cases likewise decreased, from 2.28 percent in 2022 to 1.90 percent in 2023, with the number reflecting 284 overweight children in 2023 compared to 355 in 2022.

Rosales said that the provincial government will step up more of its efforts in improving its nutrition program in 2024, with the target of bringing the majority of the nutritional areas into a single-digit improvement with the help of all nutrition stakeholders in the community, especially the parents of the 0-59-month-old children in the province.
(MMP/RSV/PIA Biliran)