Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus is the annual weighing and height measurement of all preschoolers 0-71 months old or below six years old in a community to identify and locate the malnourished children. Data generated through OPT Plus are used for local nutrition action planning, particularly in quantifying the number of malnourished and identifying who will be given priority interventions in the community. Moreover, results of OPT Plus provide information on the nutritional status of the preschoolers and the community in general, thus, providing information on the effectiveness of the local nutrition program.
Annually, the National Nutrition Council processes OPT Plus results and generates a list of nutritionally-at-risk cities/municipalities which are disseminated to government and non- government organizations so that these areas are given priority attention in nutrition programming planning and intervention.
Objectives of Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus
The conduct of OPT Plus is intended to generate data for nutritional assessment, planning, management and evaluation of local nutrition programs.
Specifically, it aims to:
1. locate families with preschoolers whose weights are below or above normal;
2. identify and quantify preschoolers with weights below and above normal needing immediate assistance;
3. detect growth faltering among infants and preschoolers as early as possible;
4. encourage parents or guardians or caregivers to have their preschoolers weighed regularly;
5. determine priority areas and individuals for local program implementation;
6. provide appropriate health and nutrition services to preschoolers whose weights fall below normal; and
7. assess the effectiveness of the local nutrition program.
Mechanics of OPT Plus
The most recent population census of the barangay is used in determining total number of preschoolers to be weighed and measured. If census data are not available, the total population of the barangay is multiplied by16.2% to arrive at the estimated number of preschoolers aged 0-71 months to be weighed.
The OPT Plus Team consists of the Rural Health Midwife, BNS and other members of the Barangay Council (i.e. Committee Chair on Health and Nutrition, Sangguniang Kabataan Chairperson), the BHWs, and Day Care Worker (DCW). The team may be assisted by the purok or mother leaders, other community leaders or representatives from civic organizations.
Site of weighing
Weighing is conducted at any place convenient to both the families in the barangay and the OPT Plus Team. It may be held in a barangay hall, day care center, barangay health station, health and nutrition post, home or any place easily accessible to the target population.
Figure 1 shows how OPT Plus is conducted in the barangay led by the OPT Plus team.
Figure 1. Flow of OPT Plus