hlAugust 25 and 28, 2015, NNC Caraga conducted Campaign on Good Nutrition and Healthy Lifestyle among senior citizens, people with disabilities, indigenous people's group, law enforcers and personnel of correctional facilities at Baker's Joy Conference Hall, Butuan City.

The problem of malnutrition is still prevalent nationwide in the form of undernutrition, overnutrition and specific micronutrient deficiencies. Furthermore, the occurrence of non-communicable diseases is apparent nowadays, wherein overweight and obese individuals are in high risk particularly to hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and cardiovascular diseases, among others. This can be attributed to excessive intake of fatty foods, high consumption of sugar rich foods and salty foods. Physical inactivity and lack of exercise are also contributing factors to these diseases.

Educating the general public through mass campaign on good nutrition and healthy lifestyle is of prime importance in ensuring that basic knowledge on good nutrition and practice of healthy lifestyle are adopted, thus, leading to behaviour change and increase public’s consciousness and awareness on good nutrition. Good nutrition must be promoted not only focusing to the vulnerable groups like preschool, school children, pregnant women and lactating mothers; there are sectors in the society that needs to be targeted for good nutrition specifically the older person, people with disabilities and indigenous people’s group. On the other hand, the law enforcers and employees from correctional facilities were also participants of the campaign on good nutrition for them to be physical fit as well in order to perform their task to provide security and safety among the general public.

The topics focused merely on the importance of good nutrition and active and healthy lifestyle such as ten kumainments, healthy lifestyle programs, pinggang pinoy and belly gud program. Five keys on food safety of Department of Health were also promoted for safer water and food consumption.



caraga dostpinoy42015The Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), is the lead agency in food and nutrition research and development in the country. One of its missions is to provide innovative technologies to fight malnutrition. In Caraga Region, the municipality of Gigaquit, Surigao del Norte is a recipient of DOST PINOY (Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children). DOST PINOY is a component of Malnutrition Reduction Program which aims to reduce the prevalence of undernutrition among infants and young children. The local government’s counterpart for the said project is to provide building/space for the processing area, the needed manpower and ingredients/materials to produce the DOST-FNRI developed complementary food products.

To start up, the FNRI-DOST conducted a 2-day DOST PINOY training workshop in Gigaquit, Surigao Del Norte last March 25-26, 2015. The participants were volunteer health workers and barangay nutrition scholars (BNS) from different barangays. It was also participated by Ms. Leah Vina P. Vargas, Nutrition Officer I of National Nutrition Council Caraga and some of the regional DOST staff. The participants were trained on how to teach mothers and caregivers about basic nutrition, maternal nutrition and how to prepare Bigmo. Bigmo is a cheaper rice-mongo blend, a nutritious complementary DOST PINOY food product.

Appropriate complementary feeding and breastfeeding are discussed in the training. Breastfeeding is one of the best practices of good nutrition. Exclusive breastfeeding is done from birth up to the first six months of life. Complementary feeding starts after 6 months to meet the nutritional need of a growing child.  Nutritious foods are added in the child’s diet while breastfeeding is continued. The participants also learned how to do affordable meal planning, backyard gardening and handling and preparing foods safely.

Ms. Vargas and DOST staff from different provinces were toured in the food processing plant. The facility will soon be opened to produce the DOST-FNRI developed complementary food products which can be availed by the neighboring municipalities, cities and provinces.

Caraga breastfeeding forumThe Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos are recommendations to promote good health through proper nutrition. The goal of the 2012 NGF is the improvement of the nutritional status, productivity and quality of life of the population, through adoption of desirable dietary practices and healthy lifestyle.

As part of its Gender and Development (GAD) activity and in partnership with the National Nutrition Council-Caraga, the Philippine Port Authority conducted the NGF Forum and Breastfeeding Advocacy. During the opening remarks, Engr. Ronaldo C. Montero pointed out that most of the employees were very interested in learning about healthy food choices since they have a history of hypertension and other non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon was the guest speaker during the forum. She discussed on the history of the NGF, statistics on fruit and vegetable consumption in the Philippines, information on mortality and morbidity statistics and the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos. After the lecture, Ms. Leah Vina P. Vargas led the open forum in which the PPA employees asked several questions. She also facilitated the raffle in which she asked several questions regarding the NGF.

After the forum was the consultative meeting with PPA officials and representatives of shipping services to explore partnership on maintenance of established breastfeeding area in the port terminal and in establishment of breastfeeding corner in passenger ships. The Nasipit Port Terminal already has a family room with breastfeeding area. Part of the discussion included possibility of NNC Caraga providing IEC materials such as breastfeeding posters, flyers and fans. It was also agreed that PPA and NNC will meet with owners and representatives of passenger ships Cokaliong Shipping Lines and 2Go Shipping on May 8, 2014 to coordinate for the campaign of NGF and breastfeeding promotion in passenger ship through posting of NGF posters and stickers and establishment of breastfeeding corner.

In the afternoon, the group went to Nasipit Port Terminal to check out the established breastfeeding area in the designated Family Room. The port terminal manager met with the group and joined in the inspection of the facility. There was a lactating mother breastfeeding her baby during the team’s visit. The group discussed on the improvements that could be made such as use of logbook for those mothers who enter the area, posting of BF posters and BF booklets and installation of NGF billboards in port terminals

A participant measures a child's mid-upperarm circumference (MUAC) during the Regional NIE Training last March 17-20, 2015.Mitigation of hunger and malnutrition is a foremost concern during emergencies. The nutrition cluster should link with other cluster and establish capacities at all levels. For this purpose, the National Nutrition Council-Caraga conducted the Regional Nutrition in Emergency training at Almont Inland Resort on March 17-20, 2015. Around 30 participants attended the training, composed of members of the Regional Nutrition Cluster, Provincial Nutrition Action Officers and Provincial Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) Coordinators. The resource persons and facilitators of the training were Office of Civil Defense-XIII staff Ms. Lorene S. Catedral, Department of Health HEMS staff Mr. Richard M. Maniago and NNC staff Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon and Ms. Nancy C. Sarabosing.

The training covered four modules on the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management, the Nutrition In Emergency Personnel as Service Provider, the Nutrition In Emergency Personnel as Trainer, and the Nutrition In Emergency Personnel as Manager. The four-day training covered lectures, workshops and practical demonstrations during the first two days while the remaining time was allotted to the nutrition cluster contingency planning workshop.

The issues and concerns brought up during the training were the source of therapeutic food, distribution of MUAC tapes to the nutrition cluster respondents, institutionalization of the community management of acute malnutrition and composition of the general food distribution. The participants were also able to provide output on the contingency plan which will be integrated to the regional contingency plan with the Office of Civil Defense.

NNC Caraga were in several barangays in support for IYCF Caraga has started mobilizing community support for IYCF in several barangays throughout the region. In Butuan City, the mobilization was conducted at Barangay Antongalon on March 6-7, 2014. Participants included 25 barangay personnel led by Barangay Captain Crisanto Carin. The volunteers included pregnant and lactating mothers from different puroks in the area. OIC City Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Nenita C. Rafanan, together with District Nutrition Program Coordinators facilitated the orientation and organization of the support group. The group called themselves the Breastfeeding Ambassadors and elected their officers.

In San Francisco, Agusan del Sur, the model barangay is Barangay Alegria which is led by Barangay Captain Solomon T. Rufila. Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Laniebelle T. Angchangco and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Ms. Mamerlyn Bugaoan oriented the participants on the roles and responsibilities of the municipal and barangay IYCF Team. The mobilization happened on March 24-25, 2014. The Alegria group called themselves the IYCF Prime Movers. The volunteers were composed of representatives from senior citizens, religious sector, TODA, purok leaders and the pregnant and lactating mothers. Aside from volunteers from Barangay Alegria, there were volunteers from other barangays who observed the activity to ensure they will be able to replicate the mobilization in their own area.

Ms. Gomez promoting healthy lifestyle and good nutrition through 10 KumainmentFebruary 23, 2015, National Nutrition Council Caraga joins Department of Health in celebrating the Heart Month with the theme “Alagaan ang iyong Puso, ugaliin ang healthy lifestyle” in Almont Inland, Resort, Butuan City.

Hypertension and diseases of the heart are among the ten leading causes of illnesses in the Philippines each year. Cardiovascular Diseases (CVD) is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels. Like cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes, CVDs are among the top killers in the Philippines, causing more than half of all deaths annually and generally contribute to decreased human productivity and national economic growth retardation. These diseases are collectively known as Lifestyle Related Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) because they have common risk factors which are related to unhealthy lifestyle and eating habits.

Unhealthy lifestyle includes drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking and inactivity. Excessive drinking increased the risk for high blood pressure, heart diseases and can also lead to liver diseases. Aside from the health risks, alcohol contains calories and enhances your appetite and will make you eat more. Smoking increases risk of heart disease (which accounts for 35 to 40% of all smoking-related deaths), emphysema, cancer, stroke, asthma, lung infections, and dementia. Decreased physical activity due to the sedentary nature of many forms of work, changing modes of transportation, increasing urbanization; and increased intake of foods that are high in fat, salt, and sugars but are low in vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients can cause overweight and obesity. Overweight and obesity are defined as abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health.

Department of Health together with the National Nutrition Council intensified the health promotion on prevention and control of chronic lifestyle related NCDs to effect changes that would lead to significant reduction in mortality and morbidity due to lifestyle related NCDs.

The Health Month Celebration has conducted various activities which includes cholesterol and sugar level taking, weight and waist circumference measurement, bloodletting and interactive lecture discussion on smoking, orientation on Package of Essential Non-communicable disease interventions (PEN), obesity and overweight and coronary artery diseases. Ms. Rowena C. Gomez, Nutrition Officer II of NNC Caraga also introduced the 10 Kumainments and Mang Moi or Moises Dalisay, who handed down the 10 Kumainments and the campaign character that was patterned after Moises of the bible.

The program was ended with open-forum and zumba exercise led by DOH and NNC Caraga Staff.

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