2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award
Rise and SHINES: Multi-sectoral collaborative effort and community participation can lead to better nutrition and health outcomes
The Municipality of Tublay belongs to a fifth-class municipality in the Cordillera Administrative Region that relies solely on the internal revenue allotment for its health and nutrition services, programs, and projects. But this did not stop the Municipal Nutrition Committee to advocate for the optimal nutritional and health status of its population. Through the municipal’s framework dubbed as “Tublay SHINES Plus” Safe environment and disaster preparedness, Health and social services, Income generation and livelihood, Nutritious food intake and breastfeeding, nutrition Education and promotion of healthy lifestyle, Stable food supply and hunger mitigation, they were able to deliver health and nutrition services for the whole community.
Continuing the framework’s multi-sectoral approach led by the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Dr. Marcela Tinoyan under the governance of the Mayor Engineer Armando Lauro, the Municipal Nutrition Committee collaborates with various stakeholders (government, civil society, and private organizations) and sectors (health, agriculture, environment, etc.) in producing better nutrition and health outcomes of the population, especially mothers and children.
Reducing undernutrition requires commitment from multiple sectors along with scaling-up nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. “Oplan BIAS (Basic Integrated Action & Services)” is one of the interventions that shows the holistic and multi sectoral collaboration needed in successful nutrition program implementation. As the term implies, the program is biased in applying equity in nutrition where children with poor nutritional status are privileged to receive more focused attention from service providers. Multiple stakeholders across sectors coordinate and collaborate to design, implement, and monitor joint solutions to address malnutrition. With 0-59 months old and school children as target beneficiaries, the Municipal Health Office provides micronutrient supplementation, the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office conducts supplementary feeding, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office gives trainings on nutrition services during emergencies, the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office promotes a friendly environment through cleanliness and sanitation, the Municipal Engineering Office builds or allocates infrastructures in support to nutrition activities, the Municipal Agriculture Office gives livelihood trainings and agriculture inputs assistance, while other civic and cooperative groups help in the promotion of Infant and Young Child Feeding activities and conduct of regular medical missions.
Also, better nutrition and health outcomes cannot be done without the participation and support of the community. One of this year’s nutrition interventions is the “Oplan Saktong Nutrisyon Plus”, a program to help prevent obesity and -manage lifestyle diseases it causes. What started as a project for the municipal and barangay employees (e.g., attending meetings and seminars where healthy meals and snacks were served) expanded to other beneficiaries. The group felt the need to practice healthy lifestyle activities to prevent non-communicable diseases, thus took initiative to partake in various elements of the said program. They started computing their own Recommended Energy/Nutrient Intake (REI/RNI) as a guide in their food choices, as well as monitoring their body mass index (BMI) and waist circumference to track their own progress. They also have religiously joined exercise activities such as Zumba conducted every Friday to inculcate the importance of physical activity in one’s daily routine. This truly shows that the active participation of the community is significant in achieving the objectives of a program. They were able to maintain the normal nutritional status of the community and have strengthened advocacy for a healthier lifestyle and better food choices.
After more than 10 years, the municipality now rise and SHINES as one of the best nutrition implementers in the country, as a recipient of the 2nd Year CROWN Maintenance Award. This is evident by the continuous decrease in the prevalence of undernutrition and overnutrition among preschool and school children in the municipality, noting the less than 1% prevalence of underweight and overweight children and zero cases of wasting for preschool children and less than 1% for school children since 2017
This year, Tublay continues to SHINE as a nutrition champion not only in the region but also in the national level. Being a fifth-class municipality is not a hindrance in its efforts in achieving optimal nutrition and health outcomes. Tublay continues to show that alone we can do so little but together we can do so much.
Joyce P. Parco, RND, MPH
Institute of Human Nutrition and Food
College of Human Ecology, UP Los Banos