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'Tutok Kainan' program to help address malnutrition in Abra

 BAGUIO CITY (PIA) – Malnutrition in its many forms remains a problem in the country. Because it affects the physical and mental development that threatens the life or hinders the potentials of malnourished people and its economic cost, the government is stepping up efforts to address this problem.

One of the programs of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the country’s highest policy making and coordinating body on nutrition, is the Tutok Kainan Dietary Supplementation Program.

The NNC-Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) is set to launch the program in the province of Abra this second semester of 2023.

NNC-CAR Development Management Officer II Perlyne Martin-Binaliw said the program aims to improve the quality and quantity of food and nutrient intakes of beneficiaries by providing them nutritious food commodities.

"Ang Tutok Kainan ay para sa mga bata, and pregnant mothers na nutritionally at-risk. Daytoy ket to fill the gap diay first 1,000 days of life," Binaliw said.

The supplemental feeding will be done for 90 days for pregnant women and 180 days for 6 months to 23 months-old children. Priority will be given to those who are nutritionally at-risk or undernourished.

This is a strategy is to ensure the normal nutritional status of pregnant women and augment the possible gap in energy and protein intake that may lead to undernutrition, and to prevent stunting in children during their first 1000 days of life. It is in line with Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag- Nanay Act.

NNC-CAR DMO II Perlyne Martin-Binaliw informs the listening public about their Tutok Kainan Program, during the Usapang PIA with Kap Peter Wasing on 13 July 2023. (PIA-CAR)

 According to Binaliw, nutritional deficiencies and environmental variables account for 20-40% of the causes of stunting, aside from genetics. Children who are deficient in nutrients have lower IQ and perform poorly on cognitive functioning tests. Stunting impairs brain development, and a stunted child is said to have 40% less brain mass.

The 2022 Regional Nutrition Situation for under five children in CAR showed that there were 9,785 stunted children; 1,931 wasted; 4,029 underweight and 3,291 children overweight and obese.

Based on the results of the Operation Timbang Plus 2022, Abra topped other provinces in the Cordillera in the prevalence of the four forms of malnutrition. Abra has high prevalence of stunting at 13.94% on 0-59 months old children; underweight- 8.37% ; wasting-3.84% and overweight and obese- 4.42%.

NNC-CAR is optimistic that with the implementation of the dietary supplementation program, the stunting concern among children under five in Abra will be addressed.

The Tutok Kainan Program was first implemented in CAR in the province of Apayao in 2022 benefitting 182 stunted and wasted children from 46 barangays in Calanasan, Conner, Flora, Kabugao, Pudtol, and Sta. Marcela. (JDP/DEG-PIA CAR)

About the Author

Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor

Cordillera Administrative Region

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