JULIUS CARMELO A. PARCAREY RN MSN
The province of Quezon has 9 District Nutrition Program Coordinators (DNPCs) to oversee the province with 41 cities and municipalities and 1,242 barangays in total. This translates to large program coordination among Local Government Units (LGUs) in all levels and numerous paper works with rigorous monitoring and evaluation of nutrition programs that are implemented.
While stereotyped image of nutrition workers might conjure with disheveled overworked government employee circumnavigating tons of paperworks in the office, today, nutrition workers instead are more vibrant, creative, revolutionary and inspirational. Program leaders and local government units are increasingly interconnected thus, nutrition workers are linked within communities. Nutrition workers can truly be change agents in helping communities come together to address a myriad of challenges with local solutions and bringing the voice and needs of each community forward. The revolution made by nutrition workers are impressive considering the nutrition sector field is more understaffed. Yet far from being the victim of these conditions, Quezon nutrition workers showed more empowered than ever before. For instance, Quezon Provincial Nutrition Office managed to visit all municipalities thrice in a row for for its annual provincial MELLPI, considering the geographical adversities in Quezon. 4 days a week for 4 months of continuous immersion in the municipalities proved to be difficult but nonetheless endurable just to deliver necessary evaluation on municipal programs. These challenges add to the unceasing efforts of the Provincial Government to elevate nutritional status of Quezonian children throughout the years.
Today, nutrition workers play a vital role in decreasing malnutrition level in the province through program monitoring, evaluation and implementation. But somewhere along the line nutrition workers are not merely employees but also workers for social change which is celebrating the change that they opted to be.