Vigan, Ilocos Sur— With the theme “LUPang Ilocos D/CNPCs and BNSs: Together in Building Bridges and Overcoming Challenges”, the Province of Ilocos Sur will host the 4th Regional Barangay Nutrition Scholars Congress scheduled on September 19, 2014 at Hotelinda Suite, Barangay 8, Vigan City.
The Congress is an annual activity of the LUPANG Ilocos BNS Federation Inc. in partnership with the National Nutrition Council- Region I to update and equip the BNSs to sustain efficient and effective delivery of basic nutrition services to address hunger and malnutrition in their respective areas.
Around 800 BNSs coming from the different provinces and cities in the region are expected to participate in the said event.
SAN FERNANDO CITY, July 31 (PIA) – Nutrition experts have advised nursing mothers to continue breastfeeding babies in evacuation areas instead of turning to infant formula milk which is not allowed in temporary shelters.
Ma. Eileen B. Blanco, National Nutrition Council Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator, said mothers should continue breastfeeding despite harsh conditions in evacuation centers.
“Infant formula in these areas (are not allowed) in compliance to Executive Order 51 or the Milk Code. Though in reality, evacuation centers are flooded with milk donations during disasters,” Blanco added.
The council noted that malnutrition incidence increases in evacuation centers due to scarcity of food.
“When breastfeeding mothers are under stress, their milk production decreases,” she added.
“Life in evacuation areas is not normal but parents, particularly mothers, should understand that this is just temporary. Sooner or later, everything will go back to normal, ” Blanco said.
As part of the Nutrition Month celebration, the council partnered with Ajinomoto culinary expert to teach the Pantawid Pamilya (4Ps) beneficiaries, mothers, barangay officials, health workers, media, and line-agency representatives on how to cook a variety of recipes using sardines and noodles as the primary ingredients noting that these are the most common food items available in evacuation centers.
Ms. Leizel C. Jose is a Barangay Nutrition Scholar of Brgy. Barani, Batac City. She is 26 years old, married and blessed with a very supportive husband and a child. Leizel is a college undergraduate who served as BNS since 2012. With her perseverance and ability to learn fast, she was able to perform her duties and responsibilities as BNS.
Leizel find life’s fulfillment when she works with people. She is always ready to render her services, ready to share her God-given talents and skills and above all, very willing to learn and share new things. Through her initiative the following innovative programs were made possible:
1.Membership to Barani Meat Processors Association (BAMEPA)-This is an IGP of the barangay where 10% of their net income is shared to Supplementary Feeding of Day Care Pupils and Pre-schoolers including the provision of BNS supplies and materials.
2.Medical and Dental Mission during their annual barangay fiesta-Medical services conducted include Blood Letting, FBS Screening, BP Monitoring and Dental Check-up
To highlight the month long celebration of Nutrition Month this July, regional launching activity was held last July 08, 2014 at Barangay Parian Este Covered Court, Bauang, La Union. The activity was a joint project of the National Nutrition Council Regional Office I in coordination with the Regional Nutrition Committee with its chair, Director Myrna C. Cabotaje and the Municipality of Bauang, La Union under the stewardship of Hon. Eulogio Clarence Martin P. De Guzman.
Section 7 of Presidential Decree No. 491 or the Nutrition Act of the Philippines designates the month of July as Nutrition Month to create greater awareness among Filipinos the importance of nutrition. With this year’s theme, “Kalamidad paghandaan: Gutom at malnutrisyon agapan”, it aims to provide a venue for the general public to realize the importance of preparedness during emergencies, how to respond and what recovery measures can be taken to prevent death and worsening of affected population groups.
The launching program started with a simple opening program and a discussion on the Nutrition Month Theme including an orientation on Emergencies/ Disasters. This was followed by a Food Demonstration of Nutritious Low Cost and Easy to prepare Menu during disaster by Ms. Manelie V. Cruz, Culinary Nutritionist of AJINOMOTO Philippines Corporation. Likewise, a Ceremonial Distribution of Disaster Materials were given to all the Barangays of Bauang, La Union represented by ABC President, Hon. David de Guzman Ballesil.
“Wastong Nutrisyon at Kalusugan, BNS Maaasahan” was the theme of the Annual BNS Congress of the Federation of Barangay Nutrition Scholars of the Province of Ilocos Sur held last May 27 at Candon Civic Center, Candon City. The event served as a venue of continuously build capacities of BNSes in order to improve nutrition service delivery. Likewise, it will help the BNSes in prioritizing programs for hunger and malnutrition mitigation in order to strengthen their role as front liners in nutrition at the community level.
The event pays tribute to Barangay Nutrition Scholars who untiringly volunteered their services to their constituents despite the very minimal allowance they are receiving. It was an avenue for the BNSs to be updated on current health and nutrition issues through the lectures given by the invited resource speakers.
Atty. Pablito Sanidad Jr., Board Member of the Province of Ilocos Sur attended the event who even volunteered himself to serve as the legal adviser of the federation. On the other hand, Ms. Ma. Eileen B. Blanco, Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC Region 1 congratulated the Federation for holding the said event. She thanked the participants for their services and sacrifices for the cause of nutrition in their respective barangays.
After maintaining the Green Banner Award for Three (3) consecutive years since 2010 and adjudged as one of the 1st Year CROWN Maintenance Awardees last year, the City of Vigan is one step closer to the Nutrition Honor Award (NHA), the highest award given by the National Nutrition Council for Local Government Units with outstanding performance.
Last June 10-14, 2013, the validation visit to vigan city by the National Nutrition Evaluation Team (NNET) was undertaken to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of local level plan implementation for the year 2012. The team was led by Ms. Ellen Ruth Abella, Nutrition Officer IV of the Nutrition Surveillance Division with Ms. Jovita Raval, Chief of the Nutrition Information and Education Division, both from the National Nutrition Council together with Ms. Angelina Bustos of UP Los Banos.
Five randomly selected barangays were visited as part of the evaluation which included Barangays Pantay Laud, Mindoro, VII, Capangpangan and San Julian. The team weighed 10% of the total pre-school children in each barangay including identified underweight, severely underweight and overweight pre-school children based on the 2013 Operation Timbang Plus Report. Also, desk review of records with the Barangay Nutrition Committees (BNCs) were done validated through interview and other supporting data. Site visitations were also made to validate the various projects/programs of the city.
During the exit conference, the National Evaluation Team presented their observations and findings on the following aspects: 1. Efficiency of the Local Level Plan Implementation, 2. Weight status of pre-school and school children validation weighing, 3. Extent of Nutrition integrated into the Local Development Plans and Programs and 4. Functionality of Nutrition Committees both at the City and Barangay Level. Recommendations were cited to enhance the performance of the City Nutrition Committee as well as the Barangay Nutrition Committee in the implementation of Nutrition Programs and Projects.
Through the innovative programs for nutrition implemented with the active participation of the City Nutrition Committee (CNC) led by Mayor Eva Marie S. Medina and the proactive Barangay Nutrition Scholars of Vigan City, they are optimistic to bag the 2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award and to sustain the gains to be able to get the Nutrition Honor Award Next Year.
NPC Ma. Eileen B. Blanco and NO II Ethelreina A. Balisnomo with Ms. Jovita Leny S. Calaguas as the RNET Chairman together with the members of the CNC joined the evaluators who visited five sampled barangays.
The National Nutrition Council Governing Board Resolution No. 1 s. 2009 adopted the DOH National Policy on Nutrition Management in Emergencies and Disasters stipulating the guidelines in the delivery of Nutrition and nutrition related services for the nutritional well-being of the population specially to the vulnerable groups. In addition, there was an amendment to Department Personnel Order 2007-2492 regarding the Creation of the Health Cluster with Sub-clusters on Nutrition, Wash and Health and NNC as the overall chair of the local nutrition cluster.
In compliance, the National Nutrition Council-LUPangIlocos spearheaded the Organization of Nutrition Clusters in the region. It was held on May 8, 2014 at DOH Licensing Conference Room, San Fernando City, La Union. The meeting was participated the following member agencies: DSWD, DA, DOH, DILG, DOST, OCD, CHED, and DTI.
The Nutrition Cluster aims to ensure that the nutritional status of the affected population especially the most vulnerable groups like the infants, children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, older persons, people with disabilities, and people living with debilitating conditions will not worsen or deteriorate due to the impact of emergency and disaster by linking with other cluster/sector groups and establishing capacities at all levels.
Mr. Renzie Ivan A. Costales of OCD presented an Overview of Disaster Risk Reduction and Management including some initiatives done by RDRRMC. Likewise, RNPC Ma. Eileen B. Blanco discussed the roles and responsibilities of partner agencies in the nutrition cluster.
To further strengthen the competence of the Regional Nutrition Cluster members, training on Nutrition in Emergencies and Infant Feeding in Emergencies will be conducted sometime in August 2014 by NNC-Regional Office I.
RNPC Blanco encouraged everyone to be always ready in times of emergency and disaster in order to ensure the nutritional well being of the affected population groups.
Dumarami ang kaso ng malnutrition sa rehiyon uno ayon sa pinakahuling talaan ng National Nutrition Council. Umabot sa 24,070 ang bilang ng mga batang severely underweight at underweight sa buong rehiyon uno samantalang 8,586 naman ang overweight sa mga batang may edad 0 hanggang 5 taong gulang. Sa bilang na ito, 13,412 ang severely underweight at underweight na mga bata ang nasa Pangasinan, 3,973 naman sa La Union, 3,435 sa Ilocos Sur at3,250 sa Ilocos Norte. Samantala ang mga overweight naman ay umaabot ng 6.035 sa Pangasinan, 1,032 sa Ilocos Sur, 916 sa La Union at 603 sa Ilocos Norte.
Ayon sa National Nutrition Council sa rehiyon uno, nakakabahala ito pagkat underweight man o overweight ang mga bata, ito ay maituturing pa ring senyales ng malnutrition.
Kamakailan ay ipinaliwanag ni Nutrition Program Coordinator Ma. Eileen Blanco na ang paglobo ng malnutrisyon sa rehiyon lalo na ang mga Overweight ay katulad din sa ibang rehiyon na bunsod ng hindi mainam na paraan ng pamumuhay sa ngayon. Aniya, ang mga bata ay hindi na nakapaglalaro ng mga larong pisikal bagkus ay madalas na lamang nakaharap sa kanilang mga gadgets at kasabay ng pagnguya ng mga junkfoods.
Dahil dito ay nakikipag ugnayan na ang NNC sa Regional Organization of Nutrition Development Advocates na binubuo ng mga kinatawan ng media na maging bahagi ng kampanya ukol sa pagbabago sa pamamaraang ito.
Isa sa mga programa ng NNC at RONDA sa taong ito ay ang pamamahagi ng impormasyon sa mga magulang lalo na sa mga nanay ang pagpapasuso pagkapanganak hanggang anim na buwan at pagbibigay ng “complementary food” habang tinutuloy ang pagpapasuso hanggang dalawang taon, pag-ehersisyo at pagpapalaganap ng pagtatanim ng malunggay na tinaguriang “Miracle Food”.
Susana Encarnacion of the Food and Nutrition Reasearch Institute said food fortification is adding micronutrients to foods widely consumed by the population such as rice, noodles and cooking oil.
“Food fortification is an effective strategy in fighting malnutrition. We need to increase public awareness on the benefits of fortified foods,” Encarnacion said.
The Department of Science and Technology through the FNRI recently convened advocates of health and nutrition in Ilocos in a media forum here.
Acting director Armando Ganal, of DOST in the Ilocos, urged participants to perform their roles of disseminating important information to reach different stakeholders in the region.
“Media play a vital role in informing the public on facts and updates relating to societal issues including health and nutrition,” said Ganal.
Experts from the FNRI said most Filipinos are deficient in iron, iodine and Vitamin A.
Participants also reorganized the Nutrition Communication (NUTRICOMNET), a network of provincial and regional media practitioners and information officers of agencies and institutions involved in food, nutrition and health promotion.
The network will help achieve the Millennium Development Goal in eradicating extreme poverty and hunger by 2015. (MCA/JNP/PIA-1 La Union)
The City Nutrition Committee of Alaminos City together with the 43 Barangay Captains convened for its 1st City Nutrition Committee Meeting on March 25, 2013 at Suki Hall Alaminos City purposely to re-activate the Nutrition Committee as well as the Barangay Nutrition Committees in the area. Likewise, it was the time to lobby for the deployment of Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) in every barangay.
To set the tone for the meeting and to have a real picture of the city nutrition situation, Ms. Rose Lulu P. Pagaduan, Nutrition Officer III of the National Nutrition Council presented it while Ms. Ma. Eileen B. Blanco, Nutrition Program Coordinator discussed the Overview of the Local Nutrition Committee as well as the roles and responsibilities for its sector.
SP Jan Marionne R. Fontelera, Chairman on Health and Sanitation said that sectoral actions can have a better impact when coordinated and integrated through a mechanism that will bring these sectors together for shared decision-making and responsibility on matters related to nutrition improvement.
Furthermore, NPC Blanco reiterated that the local Nutrition Committee plays a vital role in addressing hunger and malnutrition in the locality and emphasized on the following functions:
- Prepare a nutrition action plan complementary to and integrated with other plans of the LGU and higher level plans;
- Advocate the adoption and financing of the plan;
- Coordinate nutrition and nutrition-related activities of member agencies and other agencies;
- Monitor nutrition and related activities of member agencies and other agencies involved in the nutrition program;
- Mobilize resources to ensure that the plan is implemented.
The issue on the deployment of at least one BNS in every barangay was finally resolved with the commitment of the Barangay Captains as Chairman of the Barangay Nutrition Committees to designate a BNS and to support the implementation of the nutrition programs in their respective barangays.
In closing, CNAO Virginia H. Francisco thanked the body for the overwhelming attendance and challenged the group to make Alaminos City a well-nourished and productive community.