By Vishia Mae Tolcidas
FITS OPA Negros Occidental
“Plan your families to fight malnutrition.”
This was the message of E B. Magalona Mayor David Albert Lacson, Sr. to some 61 mothers, fathers, and caregivers of babies and pre-school children with below normal very low (BNVL) weight in the recent celebration of Nutrition Month in the said town.
In a day-long program held at the town’s Wilkinson’s Social Court is themed “Nutrition and Family Planning Education: A Key to Malnutrition Rehabilitation, Lacson urged the public that the solution to the problem of malnutrition must start in every household. “Determine how many children you want and could feed, then, perhaps, we can declare victory in our quest to eradicate malnutrition,” Lacson said.
The local chief executive called on every household to cooperate and support government programs on family planning and nutrition.
With malnutrition eradication as his priority, Lacson has strengthened the Municipal Nutrition Action Office headed by Benjie de la Cruz and the 24 Barangay Nutrition Scholars under it to function distinctly from the Municipal Health Office so that the nutrition needs of his constituents, especially pre-school children are given more focus. He also lauded the efforts of his nutrition and health teams in their continuous information and education drive on nutrition and family planning.
Emily Omilig of the Nutrition Services Division of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist presented the Impact Programs on Nutrition during the activity while Family Planning Coordinator Noreen de la Rama of the Municipal Health Office talked on responsible parenthood and family planning.
Municipal Health Officer Edwin Jayme and Public Health Nurse Glendale Jamili conducted medical consultation while BNSs assisted in the weighing-in and check-up of BNVL children.
Marjorie Ibañez, mother of 5-year-old Kim, a BNVL child, said her son’s weight improved to 13.3 kilograms yesterday from 11 kilograms in December 2009 after multivitamins were provided by the municipality and complementary feeding was given by her son’s St. Francis of Assisi School. Ibañez is thankful that her son’s weight is now below normal low (BNL). She hopes that Kim will still be among the recipients in the forthcoming complementary feeding of the municipality. BNS Eugenia Bernasol of Barangay San Jose conducts home visits to monitor her son’s progress, Ibanez said.
Participants were given gift packs of fortified food products containing milk, noodles, sardines, and others with Sangkap Pinoy seal.
Nutrition Month is done yearly by various city and municipal governments through its Nutrition and Health Offices in collaboration with the Provincial Nutrition Committee, OPA, Nutrition Center of the Philippines, Provincial Health Office, Department of Health, and other agencies.