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nnc LOGOIn the recent call of Senator Grace Poe in her privilege speech at the Senate calling for an increase in the 2015 budget for children’s feeding program, the National Nutrition Council supports actions to address hunger and malnutrition especially among children.

While there has been some improvement in the nutrition situation of children in the country, the problem persists. Based on the 2013 national nutrition survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, 19.9% of children below 5 years old are underweight for their age; 7.9% are wasted or thin for their age and 30.3% are stunted or short for their age. Among children 5-10 years old, malnutrition continues with 29.1% are underweight, 29.9% are stunted and 8.6% are wasted.

The NNC recommends that priority should be given to nutrition and related interventions in the first 1,000 days or the first nine months in the womb until the child’s second birthday. These include interventions for feeding the nutritionally at-risk pregnant women, ensuring that infants are breastfed exclusively in the first 6 months and starting at 6 months, are given nutritious and appropriate complementary food while continuing breastfeeding. Priority should also be given to treating children who are wasted or have severe acute malnutrition as they have higher risk of dying.

image articleNow, Filipinos from every walk of life can find ways to get healthy and be nutritionally well by following very simple guidelines drawn up by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) of the Department of Health (DOH). 

The “10 Kumainments” -- a campaign to promote the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF) -- was launched by the NNC at the “3rd National Conference of Nutrition Action Officers" held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City on October 23, 2014. 

The 10 Kumainments are the popularized versions of the NGF approved by the NNC Governing Board chaired by Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona to promote a healthy lifestyle among Pinoys. The nutritional guidelines aim to address and prevent malnutrition and diet-related non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. 

The 10 Kumainments are simple and easy to remember guidelines that can be easily followed by ordinary citizens to improve their nutritional status.  With messages like “Kumain ng iba’t ibang pagkain”, “Kumain ng gulay at prutas araw-araw”, and “Panatilihin ang tamang timbang”, individuals are encouraged to eat the right foods, exercise regularly and pursue a healthy lifestyle in 10 easy rules. The messages will be aired on TV and radio stations nationwide. 

A campaign character, Moises Dalisay also known as "Mang Moi", was also introduced at the launch. Patterned after Moses or Moises of the Bible story who handed out the Ten Commandments, the friendly “Mang Moi” crusades for the “10 Kumainments” that Pinoys should follow for better nutrition. 

“We encourage all the Nutrition Action Officers in the country to help disseminate the 10 Kumainments up to the barangays and to every household so that they can contribute in influencing proper nutrition behaviours and be able to help reduce malnutrition in the country,” said Jovita  Raval, NNC Chief of the Nutrition Information and Education Division, who led the national launch.

NHA trophy - resizedA job well done! The National Nutrition Council will confer the highest distinction in nutrition, the Nutrition Honor Award, to the municipality of Lal-lo in Cagayan province in region 2, the province of Ifugao in the Cordillera Administrative Region and the city of Maasin in Southern Leyte in region 8. These LGUs have exemplified outstanding performance in nutrition program management as manifested by the continued reduction in the prevalence of undernutrition both among preschool and school children for six (6) consecutive years as validated by the interagency National Nutrition Evaluation Team. The nutrition champions will each receive trophy and cash incentive of P1,000,000 during the 2014 National Nutrition Awarding Ceremony on 21 October 2014 at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City. Sixteen (16) other LGUs to be recognized during the awarding ceremony include:

2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award

  1. Quirino Province
  2. Polanco, Zamboanga del Norte

 

1st Year CROWN Maintenance Award

  1. Cauayan City, Isabela
  2. Paombong, Bulacan
  3. Mogpog, Marinduque
  4. Mandaluyong City
  5. Jordan, Guimaras
  6. Jagna, Bohol
  7. Valencia City, Bukidnon

 

Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition (CROWN) Award

  1. Bangui, Ilocos Norte
  2. Iriga City, Camarines Sur
  3. Maramag, Bukidnon
  4. Island Garden City of Samal, Davao del Norte

The NHA and CROWN Maintenance awardees were evaluated from March to June 2014, endorsed by the interagency National Nutrition Evaluation Teams to, and confirmed by the NNC Technical Committee.

On the other hand, the CROWN award is given to an LGU with outstanding performance in nutrition program for three consecutive years in their respective regions. CROWN awardees will receive a trophy and cash prize of P500,000. Recipients of the CROWN 1st and 2nd Year Maintenance Award will also receive a cash prize and a plaque of recognition and the chance to vie for the higher award next year.

Congratulations to all our winners!

nutrition-in-emergencyThe National Nutrition Council, as chair of the Nutrition Cluster for Health Emergency Management System, spearheaded the conduct of Training of Trainers on Nutrition in Emergencies (NiEm) in partnership with UNICEF Philippines on 8-12 September in Baguio City. The training aimed to develop capacities on NiEm of NNC staff at the national and regional level together with regional members of the nutrition cluster in the country. The training aimed to provide additional pool of trainers on NiEm who will later serve as trainers for roll-out trainings for local government units.

There were 31 participants from NNC Central Office and members of the regional nutrition cluster from regions 1, 2, CAR, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and UNICEF. For the smooth conduct of the training, NNC commissioned the Asian Disaster Preparedness Center (ADPC) based in Bangkok, Thailand in the person of Dr. Zulfiqar Ahmed Siddiqui, Head of the Public Health in Emergencies Department of ADPC as course director and Dr. Khizar Tausefff Ahmed Ashraf, Program Officer in Nutrition of World Food Programme – Pakistan as expert trainer.

The training included how local nutrition clusters will manage nutrition services in emergencies. Participants in the roll-out trainings are expected to also develop local nutrition action plans that include Nutrition in Emergencies management. NiEm aims to prevent the deterioration of nutritional status of the population particularly the vulnerable groups which include infants, young children, pregnant women, lactating mothers, elderly and persons with disabilities, during emergencies.

A second batch of Training of Trainers on NiEm is scheduled on 29 September – 3 October 2014 also in Baguio City to be attended by members of the regional nutrition cluster of regions 7, 11, 12, CALABARZON, MIMAROPA, Caraga, ARMM, UNICEF and selected technical staff of NNC Central Office.

image npm training articleThe NNC in partnership with the Institute of Human Nutrition and Food of the University of the Philippines Los Baños certified 28 new trainers on Nutrition Program Management (NPM) during the closing program of the Training of Trainers on NPM on 6-9 August 2014 in Makati City. The new trainers, consisting of NNC central and regional technical staff, will add to the existing pool of trainers that assists local government units improve the management of their nutrition programs.  The new trainers are expected to train selected local government units that need assistance in terms of organizing the local nutrition committees, formulating local nutrition action plans, ensuring the plans’ effective and efficient implementation, monitoring their progress and evaluating their outputs and/or outcomes against set targets. 

The NNC has also developed and printed the Trainer’s Manual and User’s Manual on NPM which is now being distributed across regions in the country. These efforts are part of NNC’s capacity development strategy to assist its stakeholders in contributing to improved nutritional situation of the country. A new feature of the training on NPM is the synchronization of local nutrition planning with the development planning of local government units every 3 years and the development of annual investment plans to include annual targets in the three-year nutrition action plan. 

The NNC regional offices are also slated to conduct trainings on NPM targeting newly-designated or appointed Nutrition Action Officers, and District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators in municipalities that do not have local nutrition action plans.

unsungThe Department of Health (DOH) recognized the exceptional efforts of all local government units, local response teams, foreign partners, DOH regional offices, DOH hospitals and medical centers, bureaus, services, and offices of the DOH Central Office, and DOH attached agencies that responded to Typhoon Yolanda-affected areas and populations through a ceremony entitled "Awarding of the Unsung Heroes: Ty Yolanda Responders" which was held on 25 July 2014 at the Heritage Hotel in Pasay City.

Secretary of Health Enrique T. Ona expressed his heartfelt gratitude to the almost 9,000 medical/health responders from about 222 institutions and agencies, including the 351 medical teams both local and foreign who courageously dedicated their time, services, expertise and resources to the victims of Typhoon Yolanda.

On behalf of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), Ms. Dianne Kristine P. Cornejo, Nutrition Officer III, and Ms. Margarita DC. Enriquez, Nutrition Officer II of the Nutrition Policy and Planning Division received the plaque and certificates of appreciation from Secretary Ona.

The NNC (which had barely assumed chairmanship of the National Nutrition Cluster when Typhoon Yolanda hit the country on 08 November 2013) participated in the deployment of the DOH Response Team and was involved in providing technical assistance, distribution and administration of vitamin A supplements, and counseling on infant and young child feeding. The NNC NCR office, together with barangay nutrition scholars, participated in the operations at the Villamor Air Base, with two NNC staff volunteering to wet-nurse the infants in the temporary shelters. The NNC regional offices received and collated reports on nutrition services being delivered. The NNC was also a key player in the conduct of the SMART or Standardized Monitoring and Assessment of Relief and Transitions survey, particularly in data collection, data collation, report writing, and dissemination of survey results. Results of the SMART survey supported the National and Regional Nutrition Clusters in prioritizing resources and planning and adjusting the nutrition response and its targets. Results of the SMART survey were shared with the Cabinet Cluster on Human Development and Poverty Reduction for their information and for them to consider nutrition activities that can be integrated in their existing programs. 

8th nnsp 2013 articleThe Food and Nutrition Research Institute-Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) released the initial results of the National Nutrition Survey 2013 during the Nutrition Summit on 26 June.  The stunting (low height-for-age) prevalence among children age 0-5 years significantly decreased from 33.6% in 2011 to 30.3% in 2013.  The three regions with lowest share of stunted children age 0-5 years are NCR (22.4%), Central Luzon (23.1%) and CALABARZON (25.3%); while those with highest stunting burden are Bicol (39.8%), ARMM (39.0%) and Zamboanga Peninsula (38.7%). There was also a significant decline in stunting among children age 5.08-10.00 years from 33.6% in 2011 to 29.9% in 2013, and among adolescents age 10.08-19.00 years from 35.7% in 2011 to 31.5% in 2013.  Stunting is a result of long-term food and nutrient deprivation that retards physical growth and cognitive development, and increases the risk to illnesses which may later affect economic productivity.   

There was also a small decline in the underweight (low weight-for-age) prevalence among children age 0-5 years from 20.2% in 2011 to 19.9%.  NCR (12.9%), CAR (16.5%) and Northern Mindanao (17.7%) had the lowest prevalence of underweight children age 0-5 years while MIMAROPA (27.5%), Western Visayas (26.0%) and Bicol (24.6%) had the highest prevalence.  Better results are seen among children age 5.08-10.00 years, indicating a significant decrease in underweight from 32.0% in 2011 to 29.0% in 2013. 

IMG 4675The National Nutrition Council and the United Nations Children’s Fund, in partnership with the Global Nutrition Cluster held a training on cluster coordination in the context of nutrition in disaster risk reduction and management last 3-5 July 2014 at the Bayview Park Hotel. 

The training aimed to provide a clearer and better understanding of the cluster approach to enable the Philippine Nutrition Cluster to carry out its functions to ensure a predictable, timely, coordinated and effective nutrition response to disaster-affected populations.

About 35 participants attended the training, and included all the NNC regional nutrition program coordinators or their representative; selected staff from the NNC central office, and selected members of the Philippine Nutrition Cluster, specifically, UNICEF, Action Contra La Faim (ACF), World Vision representing the Philippine Coalition of Advocates for Nutrition or PhilCAN, and Save the Children.

The training involved interactive learning sessions on the context of the Philippine Nutrition Cluster; humanitarian reform and transformative agenda; the cluster approach; humanitarian programme cycle from assessment to planning to implementation to monitoring; cluster coordination performance monitoring; and accountability to clients. 

Participants had a glimpse of both international and local standards and protocols for a coordinated nutrition response in emergencies from the speakers of the Global Nutrition Cluster, Dr. Ayadil Saparbekov, and Dr. Anna Ziolkovska;  National Nutrition Council, Ms. Maria Lourdes A. Vega, and Health Emergency Management Bureau of the Department of Health, Dr. Ronald P. Law.   True to the Welcome and Opening Remarks of Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores, discussions provided inputs for participants to reflect and determine “how the nutrition cluster at various levels can adopt or adapt key processes to further improve and strengthen the performance of the cluster and in the process prevent a worsening of the nutrition situation”.  

image article book launchingNNC Executive Director Assistant Secretary of Health Maria-Bernardita T. Flores led the book launch of NNC’s publication to commemorate the 40th birthday of the organization. The book entitled “NNC 40 Years: Nurturing the Filipino Towards a Stronger Nation” highlights the beginnings of NNC, what it has achieved, the challenges that it has gone through and recognizes the people who have forged and shaped the NNC to what it is today. Set against the backdrop of six political administrations of varying priorities and programs, the book is a testimony of the hard work and dedication of the men and women behind and in front of the NNC.  Its title captures the spirit of the NNC – nurturers of every Filipino to ensure optimal nutrition for them to   become productive citizens.

This book is also NNC’s  way of recognizing its guiding lights… former and present chairs of the NNC Governing Board, NNC Technical Committee, former Executive Directors, members of the various committees, task forces, and technical working groups, the local chief executives and members of local nutrition committees, the nutrition action officers, district/city nutrition program coordinators, the barangay nutrition scholars,  development partners, international and local non-government organizations and all its partners in the fight against hunger and malnutrition. 

The book launch was held during the 40th anniversary celebration of the NNC on 25 June at the NNC office.  The launch was attended by special guest Assistant Secretary Gerardo V. Bayugo representing the current NNC Governing Board Chair Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona.  About 300 guests and the entire NNC Secretariat attended the milestone event. 

BF Run image resizedA Nurture Run was recently organized in May at the CCP grounds in Pasay City by Beauty Brains and Breastfeeding (BBB, Inc) and UNICEF, co-presented by the Department of Health and the National Nutrition Cluster chaired  by the National Nutrition Council. The objective of the Run was to raise the public’s awareness on the importance of breastfeeding during emergencies including in the work place.  More than 1,700 runners from all walks of life — the general public, government sector, non-government organizations and private sector participated in the activity.  Former PBA basketball star, Mr. Vince Hizon was there together with his sports caster and television host wife Patricia Bermudez-Hizon and kids, Vicente and Paul Andre to support the historic breastfeeding run.  

Patricia related how Vince emotionally affirmed her when she was still exclusively breastfeeding their two kids.  She shared that husbands who show full support to their partners make breastfeeding a joyful part of parenthood and truly a family affair.  

Aside from promoting closer ties between the mother and infant, breastfeeding provides the right amount of nutrients and significant immunoglobulins which the infant needs for optimum growth and development.  Families can also save as much as P4,000 a month from freed cost of formula milk, distilled water and fuel.  During emergencies, breast milk assures babies of readily available, nutritionally adequate and clean food. 

Truly, breastfeeding anytime anywhere is the Filipino families’ best bet for nurturing children.

Bkdrop_NSCR6The National Nutrition Council of the Department of Health Nutriskwela Community Radio Project was born of a need for a long-term and cost-efficient strategy to address the problem of hunger and malnutrition in the Philippines in conjunction with current anti-hunger and anti-poverty programs of government.

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KBiyaya-logoKatumbas ay Biyaya Season 7 is a 30-minute radio program that tackles nutrition and health related topics. The program airs on DZRH every Saturday, 10:30 - 11:00 am.

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Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon

Radyo Mo sa Nutrisyon aims to educate the general public on nutrition and the coping strategies to address poverty and hunger among poor households, specifically on reducing rice plate waste, increasing consumption of affordable alternative sources of nutrients, practicing exclusive breastfeeding and...

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