Bohol milk feeding prog to reach over 5T stunted kids
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, July 14 (PIA) — Bohol is investing in solving the stunting, underweight, and wasting among children in Bohol with the P6-M Milk Feeding program.
This was disclosed by Glenda Grafilo, a nutritionist and dietician at the Provincial Health Office, during the recent Kapihan sa PIA tackling malnutrition’s big three indicators: stunting, underweight, and wasting.
Grafilo added that although the feeding program will reach two to five-year old kids who have been identified in health surveys to be having problems among either of the three indicators, the Provincial Government could not serve all even if it intends to.
She said the Milk Feeding Program has identified 5,138 children, prioritizing those who are stunted and severely stunted.
The program will conduct daily milk feeding for these children for two months, and then the baseline weight data and after feeding weight data are compared to see the changes.
With the theme “COVID Wagtangon, Malnutrisyon Sumpoon,” the Provincial Nutrition Council this year hopes this would significantly put a dent on malnutrition here and contribute to the Nutrition Month’s theme in July.
The Nutrition Month’s theme is “Batang Pinoy, Sana Tall, Iwas Stunting, Sana All, Iwas All Din sa COVID-19.”
While a Food and Nutrition Research Institute survey in 2018 rates the country’s stunting at 33 percent, here in Bohol, the prevalence rate is 31.9 percent, according to Grafilo.
The feeding program is actually focused on kids lacking in height, she said.
Grafilo explained that much of the problem could have been solved had the mother been properly taking care of herself and the infant from the moment of conception to the first 1000 days.
“Yes, stunting could have been easily solved, before the kids turn two years old,” Grafilo bared.
Another nutritionist and dietician, Ardin Abrea, said the mother or the pregnant mother should not be ashamed of their situation, noting that teenage mothers, although quite learned in school, still refuse to get proper advice when getting pregnant.
In Bohol, Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) go around the villages to gather and monitor weight of children from 0 to 59 months or below 5 years old.
Through Operation Timbang Plus in 2019, BNS data showed there are 3,331 total number of underweight to severely underweight kids.
The same localized data gathering showed that in 2019, some 1,318 Boholano children are categorized as wasted, while 311 are severely wasted.
Grafilo also noted that nothing is as effective in fighting malnutrition than loading up on the right kind of food: protein and fat, right after an exclusive breastfeeding regimen.
As to mothers who feel they still need to know more about properly taking care of their children’s nutrition, both nutritionists urged them to visit their health care centers where most reliable nutrition and health service providers are. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)