City vies for nat'l nutrition award

BAGUIO CITY-The city through the Baguio City Nutrition Council (BCNC) under the Health Services Office (HSO) remains hopeful for a national nutrition title after a three-year green banner and several consistent regional outstanding winner in nutrition (CROWN) maintenance awards.

Five barangays, Gibraltar, San Roque, Alfonso Tabora, Cabinet Hill and Atok Trail were assessed and given feedback as to nutritional needs by the National Nutrition Evaluation Team (NNET) led by Cynthia Vengco of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), Dr. Wilma Hurtada of the University of the Philippines Los Banos (UPLB) and Non-Government Organization representative, and Mary Frances Rodriguez of the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Regional Nutrition Council Coordinator Rita Papey, Mayor Mauricio Domogan, Health Services Officer Rowena Galpo, BCNC officer Angelita Sabado, nutrition workers and barangay officials received the feedback before the holy week break.

A revisit to breastfeeding practices in the homes and business establishments was recommended, as with the basics of infants' first 1,000 days mother's milk nutrition requirements before supplemental feeding.

The giving of prenatal vaccines and postnatal visits were appreciated by the NNET group, including malnutrition orientation, giving of therapeutic food for malnourished infants and children, laboratory examinations and hospital referrals. A local research as presented by a Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center physician should be replicated both for knowledge and planning programs, the NNET group urged.

The need for supplementary and mass feeding, use of nutria-pack for underweight and slightly underweight children was reminded, including senior citizens and pantawid families.

For exact values during Oplan Timbang for infants and children, the Department of Science and Technology though Regional Director Nancy Bantog offered correct calibration of children's weighing scales through their metrology laboratory which was noted by the evaluating group.

The NNET however encouraged the strengthening of the recognition and merit system for health workers, the mother and child nutrition and health record book, a diagram for the city's nutrition status, and target and performance setting.

The health workers' eager efforts conduct of health and nutrition fairs in the HSO, district clinics, public schools and barangays with focus on iodized salt, Vitamin A and food fortification was also greatly appreciated by the NNET during the feedback.

Other positive accomplishments of the health and nutrition workers include a strong partnership, inclusion of business partners, pro-activity with the City Social Welfare and Development Office and cascading information from top management to the grassroots.

However the availability of synchronized records with improved content was emphasized, with encouragement to use the mother tongue during feedback to accommodate the basic community. A very minimal number of malnutrition cases was noted, with the involvement of healthy food servings in school canteens.

A strong local government support was seen with the ordinances, resolutions and administrative orders issued for nutrition concerns.

Legislative support for urban gardening for health and available food supply was also noted, as with sports, healthy lifestyle and funding for livelihood and agriculture.

The BCNCs mission is, "Healthier productive life through proper nutrition." –juliegfianza

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