TACLOBAN CITY- This city and four provinces in the region have been listed as among the priority areas in curbing stunting and wasting among children under the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022.
Catalino Dotollo, National Nutrition Council (NNC) regional coordinator, said the national government will step up interventions to address the irreversible impacts of stunting and wasting in the first 1,000 days of life.
The new PPAN has included Tacloban City and the provinces of Biliran, Leyte, Southern Leyte and Northern Samar as priority areas due to high incidence of stunting and wasting and their vulnerability to natural calamities, which adversely affects the nutritional status of children.
“These are the priority areas, but it does not mean that other cities and provinces are not included since there are still regular programs of the national and local governments,” Dotollo said.
The action plan aims to reduce wasting from seven percent in 2015 to negative five percent in 2022. Wasting or thinness indicates in most cases a recent and severe process of weight loss, which is often associated with acute starvation and severe disease.
The nutrition roadmap also seeks to reduce stunting from 33.4 percent to 21.4 percent in the next five years.
Stunted growth reflects a process of failure to reach linear growth potential as a result of suboptimal health and nutritional conditions.
“The consequence of stunting is irreversible. A child’s potential is not maximized if a child is stunted,” Dotollo said.
Tacloban, the regional capital, and the four provinces in the region are among the 38 priority areas in the country where local government units will be mobilized to achieve better nutritional outcomes.
“It will involve capacity building and mentoring of local government units (LGUs) on nutrition program management to transform them to self-propelling LGUs able to plan, implement, coordinate, and monitor and evaluate effective nutrition programs,” Dotollo said.
The PPAN 2017-2022 is an integral part of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022. It is consistent with the Duterte administration’s 10-point Economic Agenda, the Health for All Agenda of the Department of Health, and the development pillars of Ambisyon Natin 2040. (SARWELL Q. MENIANO, PNA)