Food packs readied

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


PROPER nutrition should be looked into especially during disasters.

Simultaneous with the National Disaster Consciousness Month, the National Nutrition Council launched the observation of Nutrition Month in a Kapihan held July 9.

Dubbed as "Kalamidad Paghandaan: Gutom at Malnutrisyon Agapan", this year's Nutrition Month integrated the importance of preparedness in terms of proper nutrition in times of disasters.

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"I think to some extent, we are ready," NNC regional coordinator Rita Papey said.

"We have the supply but we need to have the system," Papey added.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development earlier revealed they have stacked family packs in case of calamities.

These family packs contain products with Sangkap Pinoy Seal and are accredited by the Department of Health.

Marcia Espinueva, Nutritionist and Dietician III of DSWD, said they are targeting another 30,000 packs of vegetable noodles to be procured from Benguet State University on August.

Despite food security, Papey said there is also a need to have an efficient system.

She hopes the local government units of CAR will comply with the Regional Development Council’s resolution enjoining all the local government units to "adopt and adhere to the national policy on nutrition management in emergencies and disasters and to designate their respective local nutrition committees as the local nutrition cluster under the local DRRMC".

Specifically, the Local Nutrition Clusters should render nutrition in emergencies (NiE) or services that are part of the preparedness, response and recovery.

Such are campaigns to promote proper nutrition through consumption of healthy products; assure timely and appropriate delivery of quality package that are nutritionally adequate; likewise ensure these are provided to vulnerable groups.

The nutrition clusters are also tasked to promote health and protection of infant and young child feeding practices, supplementary feeding and micronutrient supplementation among others during a calamity.

In addition, it is aimed to render counseling on proper nutrition to affected communities.

Papey said it is inevitable to have lack of food supply, water and poor access to medical services during disasters, which is why adequate supply has to be prepared.

Papey closed nutrition should be closely looked into to prevent worsening of the existing issues in nutrition and even fatality in calamities.

According to the National Nutrition Survey of Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) in 2008, 19.5 percent among Filipinos suffer from anemia; 15.2 percent of six month to five-year-old children have Vitamin A deficiency; and 66.9 percent of households did not meet their dietary energy requirement.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on July 11, 2014.

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