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SMC article on nutrition surveyThe COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the lives of many Filipinos. It has negatively affected the economy, food security and health systems of the country, among others. The enforcement of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) restricted the mobility of people, hampering their access to food and other necessities including health and nutrition services.

To understand the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the provision and utilization of routine nutrition services through the health system, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) with technical assistance from UNICEF Philippines developed a survey that covers questions pertaining to the capacity of Barangay Nutrition Scholars, nutrition services offered before and during community quarantine, nutrition services adaptation, nutrition information, education, and communication, and provision of food packs.

NNC-NCR Teambuilding 2020 with the theme DYNAMITE: Achieve Team Powers Up for the Better NormalOne of the regular activities of the National Nutrition Council – NCR (NNC-NCR) is the annual conduct of team building activities to renew the team’s commitment toward the achievement and realization of NNC’s mission and vision. The teambuilding also serves as a venue to rekindle the good relationship among official and staff, not only as a team but as a family.

The COVID-19 pandemic may have changed the world in many ways, but it did not hinder the NNC-NCR to conduct their teambuilding activity. Adapting to the “new and better normal”, the NNC-NCR had its two-day team building on December 14 and 18, 2020 attended by all personnel.

BNSs of Metro Manila who attended the first online regional conference The Federation of Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) of NCR, Inc. in partnership with the National Nutrition Council-NCR held its 2020 Barangay Nutrition Scholars' Regional Conference with the theme, "BNS: Bayani ng Nutrisyon at Serbisyo sa Panahon ng Pandemya" on December 10, 2020 via Zoom and was livestreamed on NNC-NCR’s Facebook page. Five hundred two (502) BNSs from the seventeen (17) local government units in Metro Manila attended the online event. This year’s conference focused on continuing delivery of nutrition services in the context of COVID-19 Pandemic.

Ms. Mary Grace Tamayo, President of the Regional BNS Federation, welcomed all guests and participants. Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator Ms. Milagros Elisa V. Federizo expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all BNSs who continue to deliver nutrition services despite the risk of COVID-19. According to her, BNSs are considered Nutrition Heroes. In her message, she called on all BNSs to continue their fight against hunger and malnutrition amid the pandemic.

Participant of Barangay Nutrition Action Officers' Regional Conference“As your designated position implies, you are action officers – as such, you are expected to set nutrition activities in motion, to take action and do what is needed to improve the nutrition situation in your barangay. Sana pagtulungan po natin maiangat ang nutritional status ng mga bata at iligtas sila sa gutom at malnutrisyon”, said RNPC Mila V. Federizo in her opening message during the first ever regional conference of Barangay Nutrition Action Officers (BNAOs) in NCR.

On November 18, 2020, the National Nutrition Council-NCR (NNC-NCR) in partnership with the Association of Nutrition Action Officers of NCR (ANAO-NCR), Inc. conducted the online Regional Conference for BNAOs. The conference was attended by around 200 BNAOs from the 14 local government units in NCR. It aimed to capacitate the BNAOs on how they can better perform their roles and functions particularly during this pandemic.  The BNAO is a key player in the nutrition program at the barangay level appointed or designated by the barangay chairperson who chairs the barangay nutrition committee (BNC). He/She is responsible for the coordination of the implementation of the nutrition interventions at the barangay level.

Do not hesitate to ask questions and seek experts’ opinions for they know what is best for you and your childThis pandemic has been a hindrance to so many things, including reaching out to health care workers in times of need. Most of the time, mothers, especially first-time moms, have many questions or worries concerning their infant’s health and nutrition. But with the virus spreading, how can they reach out to the experts without risking their family’s health?

As part of the campaign in promoting proper infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the City/District Nutrition Program Coordinators (C/DNPC) of Metro Manila Association with the assistance of the National Nutrition Council – NCR (NNC-NCR) established an online counseling for mothers/caregivers who have concerns or problems in feeding their infants or young children. Mothers can send their inquiries through the NNC-NCR Facebook page and they will be referred to the NCR Breastfeeding Friends (BFFs). The NCR BFFs are registered nutritionist-dietitians from the 17 local government units in Metro Manila who are trained on IYCF. Since it started on April 8, 2020, the group has received a total of 340 inquiries to date.

Healthy New Years resolutions to kick start your 2021The year 2020 has been a very tough year for many, if not all Filipinos. From the Taal Volcano eruption in January to the measles and polio outbreaks, damage caused by various typhoons and of course, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. All these had brought us challenges and losses we were not prepared for.

But amidst these challenges is the hope that 2021 will be a better year with a COVID-19 vaccine in sight. With 2021 just around the corner, it is a must that we continue building our resilience against diseases.

Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III encourages the public to commit to the “7 New Year Resolutions” to achieve a healthier life in 2021 amidst the pandemic.