breastfeedingAcross the Philippines and around the world, the number and scale of disasters and emergencies will continue to rise – and women and children are the most affected population. Climate change, environmental degradation, and natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods and drought are wreaking havoc in vulnerable communities. The recent devastation brought by Typhoons Rolly and Ulysses in Northern and Southern Luzon left many homeless without adequate food to eat. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic further threatens the health and nutrition of women and children in settings that are already made fragile by disasters.

Disasters and emergency situations are often characterized by limited access to adequate safe food and water, as well as disruptions in health and nutrition services and constraints to protecting, promoting and supporting optimal infant and young child feeding. Women and children women are extremely vulnerable in emergencies and their nutritional status must be protected to prevent undernutrition and guarantee survival.

In order to do this, we need to support mothers to safely and adequately feed their babies during emergencies such as providing therapeutic feeding to children experiencing acute malnutrition to save their lives and deliver essential micronutrients to prevent and treat deficiencies. These are critical interventions to support infant and young child survival. There should also be close coordination with water and sanitation and health care programs which also help safeguard children’s nutritional status.

Universal Children’s Day is celebrated annually on 20th November. The goal of Universal Children’s day is to improve child welfare worldwide, promote and celebrate children’s rights and promote togetherness and awareness amongst all children. Initially launched in 1954, Universal Children’s day has seen some milestone events in the field of child welfare. Marking the anniversary of the dates when the UN General assembly adopted both the declaration and convention of children’s rights. The convention sets out a number of children’s rights such as the rights to be protected from violence and discrimination and the rights to life, health and education. Yet, fulfilling the right to health and nutrition of Filipino children remains a challenge that needs to be addressed.

rnc meeting 3
PALO, LEYTE – In its Second Meeting of the Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) held last October 28, 2020 at the DOH VIII Conference Room, Candahug, Palo, Leyte, the Committee discussed and approved RNC Resolution No. 6, series of 2020, entitled, “Enjoining All Local Government Units (LGUs) in Eastern Visayas to Support the Implementation of the National Dietary Supplementation Program for Nutritionally-at-risk (NAR) pregnant women and children from 6-23 months old”.  

NIE-IM Blended
The National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region VIII kick-starts the Nutrition in Emergencies and Information Management (NIE-IM) Blended Learning Course last November 13, 2020 through a live opening program via Google Meet. The said program was attended by 10 local government units, (LGU) coming from (1) Biliran Province, (2) Samar Province, (3) Borongan City, Eastern Samar (4) Saint Bernard, Southern Leyte (5) San Juan, Southern Leyte (6) Daram, Samar (7) Marabut, Samar (8) Paranas, Samar (9) Tagapul-an, Samar, and (10) Jipapad, Eastern Samar, including participants from the Department of Health-Health Emergency Management Bureau  (DOH-HEMS) and Plan International.

maasin aip
PALO, LEYTE – At long last, after several attempts in convening to craft out the nutrition plan, the Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) of the Province of Southern Leyte gathered once again to identify and integrate nutrition programs, projects, and activities (PPAs). This was accomplished during the two-day Workshop on Integrating Nutrition in the 2021 Annual Investment Program (AIP), which was held last November 5 and 6, 2020 at Eskinani Dayang Conference Room, Brgy. Mahayahay, Maasin City.

RD Molon turnover
Department of Health-Eastern Visayas Center for Health and Development (DOH-EVCHD) Regional Director and Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC) VIII Chairperson, Dr. Minerva Perigrino-Molon retires after a stellar career in public service effective 1 November 2020.

Under her leadership, she provided the direction and response of the prime government agency on health in Eastern Visayas as it faced numerous challenges through the years such as Typhoons Yolanda and Nona, rehabilitation and expansion of health facilities towards Universal Healthcare, diarrhea and dengue outbreaks, and most recently the threat of COVID-19. Through all these challenges, she remained proactive, tactful, calm, and in command.