The National Nutrition Council (NNC) announces the theme for this year’s Nutrition Month celebration in July which is
“First 1000 Days ni baby pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan.”
The theme focuses on the first 1000 days of life starting from conception and before the second birthday of the child. It is during this period when growth faltering happens. Many studies have shown a link between undernutrition, especially stunting, in the first years of life and overnutrition in the later years. Thus, the First 1000 Days has been called the “golden window of opportunity” for a comprehensive package of nutrition and related interventions to achieve significant changes in reduction in child stunting, underweight and wasting, at the same time contribute to complete child development.
Highlighting the First 1000 Days during Nutrition Month in July 2016 aims to create awareness on the importance of proper infant and young child feeding practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months and giving appropriate complementary food after six months while continuing breastfeeding. The celebration also aims to promote collaboration among various stakeholders both at the national and local levels for programs serving families with pregnant mothers and children less than 2 years old. The 2016 Nutrition Month celebration will also serve as a venue for the launching of the Early Childhood Care and Development Intervention Package (ECCD-IP) for the First 1000 Days.
The NNC leads the ECCD-IP First 1000 Days program which aims to contribute to the full development of the child through integrated services of health, nutrition, early education, and social services for improved quality of the country’s human resource base as a contribution to reduce poverty. It addresses the call for a "holistic approach to the provision of health, nutrition, education, and social welfare services to children 0-8 years of age", but with an even more refined focus on the first 1000 days of life. Specifically, the ECCD-IP First 1000 Days aims to: 1) reduce mortality and morbidity rates among children 0-23 months old; 2) reduce the prevalence of stunting and wasting among children 0-23 months old; and 3) increase the percentage of children 0-23 months old meeting developmental milestones. The ECCD-IP First 1000 Days will be implemented in the Accelerated and Sustainable Anti-Poverty Program (ASAPP) municipalities and cities from the Category 1 provinces covering a total of 9 regions, 10 provinces, 10 cities and 42 municipalities, from 2016-2018.
The NNC encourages all sectors to plan and celebrate Nutrition Month in July along this theme. The NNC shall coordinate with national and local governments, non-government organizations, private sector, media, the academe, and other stakeholders to increase awareness about the First 1000 Days.
The chosen theme is a modification of the theme contest entry “Unang 1000 days in baby pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan” which was submitted by Ms. Desiree P. Reyes of Mayondon, Los Baños, Laguna.