Final Vice Gov.News Article6 March 2023, Cagayan de Oro City – National Nutrition Council (NNC) X led by Nutrition Program Coordinator Gladys Mae S. Fernandez conducted an advocacy meeting with Lanao del Norte Vice Governor Allan J. Lim, Sangguniang Panlalawigan Committee on Health Chairperson Cristy Atay and Provincial Health Office staff last 16 February 2023. Also present in the meeting were Acting Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cristie Joy Indoc, Provincial Nutrition Action Officer designate Dr. Zoe Tabañag, District Nutrition Program Coordinator Jalillah Macadato, and Nutritionist-Dietitian Luvi Joi Pepino.

NPC Fernandez discussed the nutrition situation of the province, highlighting the top municipalities with malnutrition problem. Included in her presentation are the key roles of Provincial Nutrition Committee, Nutrition Shepherding Project of which the province is a priority Shepherding area, Tutok Kainan Program, the Philippine Multisectoral Nutrition Project, and guide on how to plan and effectively conduct and monitor nutrition programs. She gave emphasis on providing the municipalities and barangays with prescribed growth assessment tools and to conduct training on how to use and accurately measure weight and height using the tools.

Further, NPC Fernandez highlighted the strengthening of local nutrition committee especially at the provincial level since municipalities and barangays will not be effective without the support and guidance from the province. She also shared the implications of not having a permanent focal person on nutrition in every province, municipality, and barangay. The municipalities and barangays struggle in the implementation and monitoring of nutrition programs because the designated focal person in every municipality are handling multiple programs, not only nutrition. She emphasized that having a focal person that focuses only on nutrition will improve the nutrition situation of the province for there will be someone who will constantly update, coordinate and monitor the implementation of nutrition programs. 

Vice Governor Lim actively engaged in the dialogue and reiterated the use of correct data on Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus for the formulation of Provincial Nutrition Action Plan, and to include discussions on nutrition during the meetings with Municipal Mayors in the province. He also made mentioned that the province should allocate budget for nutrition, use it for the resolution of the current nutrition situation of the province. Vice Gov. Lim gave emphasis on providing nutrition support to municipalities with high prevalence of malnutrition especially the interior barangays, and that the municipalities should support day care centers in providing the students with nutritious foods and educate teenage pregnant women with the proper nutrition they need and strengthen the First 1000 days of life campaign.  

On the other hand, Board Member Cristy Atay, SP Committee Chairperson on Health, committed to review the plans and budgets of municipalities to ensure the integration of nutrition in the priority development plans of LGUs.

Acting PHO Dr. Indoc stressed that the province procured hanging type weighing scale, height board and distributed mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) tapes to municipalities. They also conducted orientation and training to their Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Nutrition Scholars on how to use the measuring tools prior the collection of weight and height of children. She committed to communicate with the municipalities to refresh the BNSs on the proper procedure of weight and height taking. They are in the process of formulating Provincial Nutrition Action Plan and will conduct a Provincial Nutrition Committee meeting with Governor Imelda Q. Dimaporo.

Vice Governor Lim, BM Atay and the rest of meeting attendees committed to formulate and undertake actions and strategies to correct malnutrition in the province and strengthen coordination with the municipalities and barangays in the implementation of nutrition programs. (Project Development Officer I Keishe Jan T. Aban/ This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. / 0963-1090-198)