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Power of F1KDBy Roan Angela Garcia Rillon of PAN-AP

The Philippines has recently experienced the misfortunes of the simultaneous occurrence of under- and overnutrition. How did we transition from the double-trouble to the triple burden? Poor diet, food insecurity, and physical inactivity-- all of these factors contributed significantly to this quandary that the country is facing.

The triple burden of malnutrition (TBM) is the coexistence of the forms of undernutrition (wasting, underweight, and stunting), overnutrition (overweight or obesity), and micronutrient deficiency. This condition places the survival, growth, and development of children, young people, economies, and nations in a perilous state. Recent studies have shown that TBM can be traced back to the care and feeding practice among children in their First 1,000 Days of life. In the Philippines, this is exhibited by the none to minimal decreasing prevalence of Stunting in children under five years of age, an indication of chronic malnutrition. Currently, 1 out of 3 Filipino children suffers from Stunting.

Image Deworming ArticleThe National Deworming Month is a twice a year campaign during the months of January and July. It aims to treat and to prevent soil-transmitted helminth infections that have a detrimental impact on children’s growth and development. As of 2016, the prevalence of roundworm infections in the Philippines still falls above 20 %. Thus, the 2017 WHO Guidelines recommend mass deworming for school-age children living in areas where the prevalence of intestinal worms is 20 % or higher.

Why is having worms detrimental to children’s growth and development?

Worms are intestinal parasites that compete with nutrients and even steal nutrients from their host. It leads to malnutrition, weakness, feeling tired, impaired mental and physical development in growing children and poor performance in school and work.

Image Vitamin A SupplementationBased on the Expanded National Nutrition Survey of 2018, Vitamin A deficiency was considered a “moderate” public health concern among children 6 months - 5 years old. In terms of a single age group, it is most severe among 1 year old children. Vitamin A is needed for vision, skin health, and the immune system of children. Inadequate dietary intake of this vitamin may lead to blindness, increased risk of having respiratory infections and diarrhea and anemia because when Vitamin A is low, body stores of iron are poorly mobilized for making red blood cells. The primary prevention of Vitamin A deficiency is through the intake of Vitamin A rich foods such as:

● Yellow or Orange Fruits and Vegetables: Mango, Papaya, Carrots, Squash
● Some Green Vegetables: Malunggay, Kamote Tops, Kangkong, ALugbati, Saluyot
● Animal Sources: Egg, Chicken Liver
● Processed foods: Fortified milk, Cheese

Image How to Monitor your Childs Growth ArticleThere are many ways to monitor your child’s growth from infancy to childhood. The simplest method is measuring their weight and height and comparing them to the Child Growth Standards or by looking at skills or behaviors that indicate developmental milestones by month. This article discusses briefly the concepts and tools that you may utilize in monitoring your child’s growth.

When you bring your child to the health center or clinic, the first thing they will measure is your baby’s weight and length / height. These values will be compared against the Child Growth Standards (CGS) according to their age. These tables can be freely downloaded from the National Nutrition Council website: www.nnc.gov.ph .

Weight-for-Age Tables: Tells whether child is underweight or overweight

This table tells if your child’s current weight is suitable for their age. If the health worker says that your child is underweight, it may indicate poor weight gain, inadequate breastfeeding or recent illness. Your child’s weight will gradually catch up when these factors are addressed.  If the health worker says that your child is overweight, there is no need to restrict feeding because they are still growing. Focus on breastfeeding and nutritious complementary feeding regardless of their weight status.

Image BNS Lumaad Article23 July 2021 – BNS Federation calls for stronger support to the Barangay Nutrition Scholar Program (BNS Program) both from National and Local Governments as implementation of the Mandanas Ruling is fast approaching. Ms. Jocelyn A. Lumaad, President of LUZVIMIN BNS Federation shared this appeal during her panel presentation in the recently held Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) Virtual Convention. In her presentation, President Lumaad underscored the critical role of BNSs in the successful implementation of not just the First 1000 Days Program but to the overall success of the Nutrition Program at the community level, while enumerating the various challenges that they have to overcome as frontliners during the COVID-19 pandemic.

BNS Lumaad continued by stating some of the ways the national and local government can strengthen their support to the BNS Program during the implementation of Mandanas Ruling in 2022. She explains that the BNS Federation is calling for the following reforms in all the LGUs in 2022:

18 Image 1 Routine Vaccination Schedule by UNICEF 2021Infections and diseases during the first 1000 days of an infant’s life have a great impact on your child’s growth and long-term health. In 2002, WHO estimated that 1.4 million of deaths among children under 5 years are due to diseases that could have been prevented by routine vaccination. This represents 14% of global total mortality in children under 5 years of age. Certain diseases such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B, Diphtheria, Polio, Pneumonia and Measles are preventable through timely vaccination and by completing multiple doses of the vaccine for them to be effective.

What are the vaccines given at birth?

At birth, your baby must receive his/her BCG and Hepatitis B vaccine. The BCG vaccine protects against Tuberculosis which is a communicable disease of the lungs which may affect the brain or lead to death when untreated. Tuberculosis may also contribute to poor growth and malnutrition, thus having this vaccine helps lower the risk of contracting this disease. Hepatitis B vaccine protects against the Hepatitis B virus which affects the liver and can make your child more prone to chronic infections and increased risk for liver cancer in later life.