Good news for pregnant women as they are targeted to receive additional meals and food commodities to improve their nutrition. This was bared during the soft launch of the Tutok Kainan Supplementation Program with Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles and National Nutrition Council Executive Director Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang on 23 November at the NNC Headquarters. Tutok Kainan program will provide the Enhanced Nutribun, ready-to-eat lipid-based nutritional supplement and hot meals for three months starting December this year. The program will initially target some 34,000 nutritionally at-risk pregnant women in provinces that have high rates of child stunting and areas affected by recent typhoons. By next year, the program hopes to expand to include malnourished children 6-23 months old.
Director Dayanghirang explained that malnourished pregnant women and 6-23 months old children are specifically targeted to prevent child stunting in the first two years of life or the period referred to as the First 1000 Days. “If we lose this opportunity to intervene in this critical period, we expect children to be stunted for the rest of their life as stunting becomes irreversible beyond 2 years. Stunting not only affects physical development but also mental development”, adds Dayanghirang.
Tutok Kainan is done in collaboration with the Interagency Task Force (IATF) on Zero Hunger chaired by Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei Nograles who also led the ceremonial feeding to a few pregnant women from the national capital region. The program is also in line with the recommendation of the IATF on Emerging Infectious Diseases last October to provide feeding to malnourished pregnant women and 6-23 months old stunted children to minimize the impact of the pandemic on the nutrition of vulnerable groups.
Tutok Kainan initially targets Camarines Sur, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Siquijor, Cebu City, Zamboanga del Norte, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon and the National Capital Region (Caloocan, Navotas, Parañaque and Pateros). The areas heavily hit by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses are also targeted including Cagayan, Isabela, Albay, Catanduanes and Rodriguez, Rizal.
About 500 participants attended the online event coming from the local government program areas, the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement Business Network and Civil Society Alliance as well as other government agencies.
During the launch, local government units were requested to provide counterpart including the human resources and other logistics to complement the food commodities from NNC. Other partners were encouraged to provide additional support.
Tutok Kainan is one platform of the National Dietary Supplementation Program of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022. Aside from Tutok Kainan, the DSWD and DepED also implement feeding programs among children enrolled in day care centers and elementary schools to address malnutrition as well as some local government units and non-government organizations.
The online launch can be viewed via the National Nutrition Council official Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/nncofficial/videos/2663603193892141.