News on Health and Nutrition in Eastern Visayas region
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Daram mayor pledges to cut down malnutrition incidence

July 22, 2011

DARAM, Samar  –  From a high of 32% malnutrition prevalence last year, we are targeting to lower this down to 5% this year.  Daram Mayor Lucia L. Astorga declared this during the conduct of HIMSoG Media Caravan on Nutrition to this island town July 12, 2011.

HIMSoG-8, which stands for “Harmonized Initiatives of Media for the Spread of Good Nutrition in Region 8” is the media group partner of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) Region 8 in Promotion of Good Nutrition in Eastern Visayas. Together with NNC officials, representatives of Plan Philippines and provincial nutrition officer conducted a caravan to the island town as among the Nutrition Month activities in July 2011.

While the province of Samar ranks first in malnutrition incidence in Region 8 at 24% prevalence rate, the municipality of Daram ranks only 17th in the provincial standing at 21.98% prevalence rate (based on 2010 OPT). Topnotch is Tarangnan with 36.93% and in second is Matuguinao with 36.5%.

Daram became a HIMSoG Media Caravan choice stopover due to its good practices worthy of emulation. As it gives priority to health and nutrition of its constituents, it opens up to several partners in adopting numerous interventions to uplift the nutritional status of the town. Among them are Zuelig Family Foundation that focuses on health and the Plan Philippines that focus on children.

NNC Region 8 Director Carina Santiago said she is happy that nutrition is a priority in Daram, and that the local government unit has many partners, and that there are so many interventions in the municipality. We can document these good practices, she said.

A continuous intervention program in the island town is the feeding of the severely malnourished children in targeted barangays. Feeding of each batch is conducted daily for two months at two-meals a day.

Another one is making available cheap nutritious food packs for children in the locality with the production of INSUMIX, which is actually a mixture of rice, sesame seeds, and mongo.  With the support of partner institutions like Zuelig Family Foundation – that provided the equipments and utensils for local production of INSUMIX; and another partner likewise that has trained one barangay in the municipality to plant sesame seeds – as well provided the seeds of sesame seeds for planting, INSUMIX is underway.

Also established in the municipality, even before the 4Ps of the national government, is the empowerment vehicle called Mobile Kosina: This is the training of mothers specifically the families of severely malnourished children on gardening, which is currently being strengthened not only to sustain the nutrition of children, but as well as an added livelihood activity.

It was learned that with the Mobile Kosina, that is now ready for registration with the DOLE, a five pesos worth of vegetables are now made available at the barangays for the village people.