bns congPAWING, Palo, Leyte-around 4,000 Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) region-wide gathered at Leyte Academic Center (LAC) Gymnasium for the “3rd Eastern Visayas BNS’s Congress” on July 28, 2016.

The Summit’s theme: Abante BNSs suporta sa First 1000 Days of Life, TIYAKIN! is congruent with this year’s nutrition month theme: “First 1000 Days ni baby pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan”. It underscores the First 1000 Days of life as a critical “Window of Opportunity” to give the optimum care to children- which the baby is still in the womb-during the nine months of pregnancy (270 days), until two years old (+730 days) = 1000 DAYS.

Dr. Catalino P. Dotollo, Jr., Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of National Nutrition Council (NNC), Eastern Visayas, disclosed that the gathering of nutrition frontline workers was spearheaded by the Eastern Visayas Association of Barangay Nutrition Scholars (EVA-BNSs), Inc. and is among July’s nutrition month celebration activities.

EVA-BNS President LydiaC. Nuñez in her welcome message said the congress provides a forum for the BNSs to meet, to listen, to discuss, to share information and to plan for the future- so that together the BNSs can envisage the evolving development of nutrition in Region 8.

In her keynote message, read by Nutrition Policy and Planning Division chief Ma. Lourdes A. Vega, Department of Health (DOH) Assistant Secretary and NNC Executive Director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores said she was glad that the congress theme “ABANTE BNSs, suporta sa First 1000 Days of Life, TIYAKIN!” is connected to the theme of 2016 Nutrition Month Celebration.

Flores said, I want to thank the officers of Eastern Visayas Association of Barangay Nutrition Scholars Federation, Inc. headed by BNS Lydia C. Nuñez for their determination in bringing to greater heights the knowledge and quality of service of the BNSs through forums like this. Once again we salute you!

It was gathered that the EVA-BNS had conducted its “1st Regional BNS Congress” on 28 of July in 2011, at the Tacloban Astrodome, the 2nd Regional BNS Congress was held on July 29, 2013 at Leyte Provincial Convention Center. And its 3rd, this year at LAC.

Topic tackled for this year’s congress were: “SUN Movement and The Role of the BNS in the First 1000 Days” discussed by Felicita R. Borata, DOH-8 Regional Nutrition Program Manager; “E-MIC Project” (Nutrition Information System) by Giovani Ed M. Napari, Leyte Provincial Nutrition Action Officer; “BNS, BNC and BNAP Perspective of a Barangay Chairman” by Bernarda Z. Cabello, Barangay Captain of Cabungaan, Tarangnan, Samar; “Experiential Sharing – 2014 Regional Outstanding BNS Awardee” by Jennifer U. Dejesica, BNS Barangay Sto. Niño, Maasin City; Microfinancing Opportunities for BNSs by Herminito . Mangalao, RSW DSWD Field Office 8; and “The RX Box and its significance to Maternal and Child Health Nutrition” by Pamela Poleño, Regional Training Coordinator, National Telehealth Center and Lovelene Maceda, RX Box Project Assistant, Department of Science and Technology. (Jack Gadaingan)