BUTUAN CITY -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office Caraga (DSWD FO Caraga) joined with the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in the campaign of raising awareness on the nutrition issue by educating the public on the first 1000 days and the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition through its weekly radio program conducted on July 9, 2021.
This year’s 47th Nutrition Month Celebration is centered on the call of continued action to combat malnutrition amidst the pandemic and encourage parents to invest in the first 1000 days of the child – from pregnancy to infancy stage. This is also an opportunity to step up collaborated interventions of various stakeholders and inform the public on the most relevant nutrition issue as to how it can be addressed.
“We have been hearing a lot of food misconception these days. To keep track of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022, let us also advocate on taking seriously the first 1000 days of life,” Nutritionist and Dietician Ma. Lea Alegarbes emphasized during the discussion.
The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 gives priority to nutritionally affected individuals coming from low-income families and communities with less access to resources and health, nutrition, social, and other essential services. One of its strategic thrusts is the Early Childhood Care and Development in the First 1000 Days Intervention Package Program.
According to Raphael Ochavo, Nutrition Officer II of NNC Caraga, the nutritional problems affecting the Filipinos today like stunting, wasting, obesity, micronutrient deficiencies and, hunger and food insecurity are caused by poor nutrition in early life.
“During the First 1000 days which spans from conception up to 2 years old, this is an establishing stage for children in terms of their health, nutrition, and developments. If we take heed on the call of having good nutrition, we can help the child’s cognitive and behavior aspect development,” Alegarbes added.
Hence, the department, together with various stakeholders, is intensifying its effort in the nutrition campaign guided by the PPAN as an overall framework driven by its objectives to reduce levels of all forms of malnutrition.
As a matter of fact, DSWD FO Caraga’s OIC Regional Director Ramel F. Jamen expressed his message of support in combating malnutrition during the launching of the Nutrition Month Celebration.
“As we celebrate this year’s Nutrition Month, may we work hand in hand to combat malnutrition as we educate and uphold good choices of food thru the Department’s Supplementary Feeding Program. So as the agency social services provider, I am encouraging other agencies to promote and advocate for healthy diets for mothers, infants, and young children in the first 1000 days,” Jamen stated.
Simultaneously, the FO Caraga’s 11th Cycle Supplementary Feeding Program also commenced during the kick-off of the month-long celebration of the Nutrition Month. (DSWD-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)