NNC Region 1 league of nutrition actionofficers27 January 2013, Vigan City - The Officers of the League of Nutrition Action Officers, Region I, Inc. with the National Nutrition Council, Regional Office I as secretariat were at Vigan Culture and Trade Center for the first quarter meeting. The meeting was hosted by the local government of Vigan- the 1st CROWN Maintenance Awardee in Region I for 2013. Hosting of meetings has been the practice in the region in order to observe nutrition program implementation of respective LGUs worthy of replication.

The group was warmly welcomed by Vice-Mayor Lourdes Baquiran on behalf of Mayor Eva Marie Medina. She proudly presented the innovations being undertaken in the city which include the functional City and Barangay Nutrition Committees, involvement of various NGOs in the nutrition program as well as the Search for the Best Barangay and Barangay Nutrition Scholar. To help augment income of families with malnourished children and indigents, the city government provided livelihood projects tagged as “Pagsapulan: Raniag ti Masakbayan” like the provision of tricycle for hire, ice cream carts, Muscovy ducks and Murrah buffalos for animal dispersal among others. In addition, a BNS Nutri-Canteen which sells mikilunggay and other nutritious snacks was provided to the Federation of Barangay Nutrition Scholars with a starting capital of P50, 000.00. In order to provide quality services, access cards were provided to its constituents. The access card includes a list of services that the recipients can avail of such as medical and dental services, livelihood and financial assistance, legal assistance and burial assistance, among others. Moreover, activities like Healthy Buntis, Healthy Baby, Healthy Barangay Projects is a service caravan –type of project which brings health services to the barangays including the conduct of pre-natal check-ups and laboratory exams for pregnant mothers and the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding.

Vice Mayor Baquiran enjoined the group to visit their different projects along food production and child welfare and wished that everybody will enjoy their short stay in the heritage city of the north-Vigan City.

NNC Region 1 conducting NGF caravanAs part of the promotional and advocacy campaign on the Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos (NGF), the National Nutrition Council sponsored the conduct of a Caravan in the four Cities of Region I undertaken as follows: Urdaneta City on December 17, 2013, Dagupan City on December 19, 2013, Batac City and Candon City on December 27, 2013.

The activity aims to increase the level of awareness of the general public on the NGF, practice it their daily lives to improve nutritional status, enhance productivity and contribute to development. Likewise, it was a venue to strengthen the advocacy campaign on the ten NGF and encourage other stakeholders to participate and promote the key messages.

OIC-NPC Rose Lulu P. Pagaduan stressed that with this event, people in the urban areas will be able to acquire knowledge and skills in order to improve their nutritional status through good nutrition and healthy lifestyle practices especially among the vulnerable groups like infants, preschoolers, school children, pregnant and lactating mothers and even the senior citizens.

The NGF Caravan consisted of various activities to highlight the messages especially message number 10- “Be physically active, make healthy food choices, manage stress, avoid alcoholic beverages and do not smoke to help prevent lifestyle-related non communicable diseases.” Lecture-discussions on the healthy lifestyle campaign and Promotion of Good Nutrition as well as distribution of fortified foods products, hygiene kits and NGF promotional materials were distributed to all the participants.

Different sectors of the society like the mothers of 0-2 years old children, 4P’s Beneficiaries, Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Barangay Health Workers, Government Employees, Senior Citizens including Local Officials actively participated during the event and they committed to support, promote, advocate and practice the 10 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos.

Participants of the Ilocos Region Universal Salt Iodization Consultative Meeting and Planning WorkshopThe Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) together with the Department of Health Regional Office I through the Health Program Section of Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement Division (RLED) conducted the Ilocos Region Universal Salt Iodization Consultative Meeting and Planning Workshop held at Hotel Veniz, Baguio City on February 20-21, 2014. The objective of the activity is to develop a detailed Regional Plan to be able to achieve Universal Salt Iodization (USI), or 90% of households using adequately iodized salt.

The Consultative Meeting was attended by the salt producers of provinces, cities and municipalities composed of Provincial Nutrition Action Officers, Provincial Nutritionists, Registered Sanitary Inspectors, and Provincial Health Nurses.

Mr. Edward Otico of GAIN reported the following results of 2008 National Nutrition Survey and 2011 Updating Survey:

High availability of iodized salt (89.8%), but low availability (46.7%) of “adequately” iodized salt. Median iodine content was 14.1ppm (below 15ppm minimum). 53.3% of salt have below 15ppm iodine.

Good median Urinary Iodine Excretion (UIE) for children 6-12 yrs old (159 ug/l, cut-off 100) and lactating women (112 ug/l, cut-off 100), but poor for pregnant women (88 ug/l, cut-off 150). Only 28.8% of pregnant women had sufficient iodine. For children and lactating women, 71.8% and 53% had sufficient iodine.

The highlights of the National Salt Iodization Program Strategic Plan 2011-2016 was discussed by Ms. Ethelreina A. Balisnomo, Nutrition Officer I of National Nutrition Council. This is to update the body on the status on the major accomplishments of the plan which include the priority actions and activities on the 5 components namely: 1. Technical Assistance, 2. Promotion and Advocacy, 3. Regulation and monitoring, 4. Program management and 5. Support activities.

Since the problems being addressed are affecting the regional population, regional agencies and local government units should invest on appropriate resources on the salt iodization program implementation. The participants were tasked to develop their respective action plans to address the issues on program implementation.

On the second day, Mr. Edward Otico demonstrated the use of the WYD iodine test kit to check the iodine content of salt samples collected from different salt producers in the region.

In closing, Dr. Amelia Dumaoang of DOH thanked everybody for their active participation and challenged the group to fastrack the implementation of the salt iodization program in their respective areas.