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Breastmilk and complementary foods critical to the child's first three years says PNAO

By NINFA B QUIRANTE, PIA Borongan
September 21, 2011

BORONGAN CITY, Eastern Samar  –  Breastmilk and complementary food are critical to the child's first three years according to Provincial Nutrition Action Officer Sallie Jabinal, during the third quarter meeting of the Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) in Eastern Samar on Tuesday.

The PNC is concerned about the stunting of Eastern Samar kids aged 0-5 years old. According to the data released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 35.2% are underheight in Eastern Samar. The survey was done in 2008.

There is good news though as regards to underweight, the status of Eastern Samareños of the same age is better, with only 19.0 in percentage as underweight as compared to the regional prevalence which is 26.4 and the national which is 20.7.

Stunting is also a problem with school children with 44.6% prevalence higher than the national which is 33.9%.

As such, the PNC said that mothers should be aware of the results of not breastfeeding their children. A study roughly estimated that mothers breastfeed only exclusively for two months as reasons include going back to work and the myth that 'the mother do not have enough milk.

Most families are also not keen on the preparation of complementary foods for kids aged 6 months onwards.

In one instance, Jabinal even suggested a desperate move: "Suggest to the Pantawid municipal advisory committee to delist families who will not attend Pabasa sa Nutrisyon," Jabinal suggested.

Pabasa sa Nutrisyon is a lesson on nutrition lectured to mothers especially those with very young children. The Pantawid program implementors have yet to hear about this drastic suggestion by the PNC.

As a whole, the PNC is advocating nutrition to LGUs where most of whom are lukewarm to the campaign.