Nutrition coordinators urged to step up efforts vs hunger-A A +A
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
HEALTH Assistant Secretary Maria Bernardita T. Flores, also the executive director of the National Nutrition Council (NNC), called on the district and city coordinators (DCs and CCs) of the government's Nutrition Program to intensify efforts in resolving malnutrition problem of the country.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day 4th National Conference of District/City Nutrition Program Coordinators held at SM Lanang Premier's SMX Convention Center on Monday, Flores said that although there is an improvement in malnutrition levels since the 1970s, it has remained stagnant at 20 percent in the last decade.
"In 2015, it will be the deadline of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and with the rate that we have, we have to scale up our efforts in the shortest possible time to reduce malnutrition in our areas," she said in her keynote speech.
Reducing malnutrition is under the MDG 1, which is radicating extreme poverty and hunger.
Flores said they are targeting to bring malnutrition levels down to 17 percent. But since 2003, the malnutrition level remains somewhere in 20 percent. In 2008, it was around 20.6 percent and in 2011 at 20.2 percent.
Flores told DCs and CCs that they can help lower the malnutrition lavels by simply teaching a person on proper and responsible nutrition planning.
She said there are those who can eat three meals a day but they do not know what is the proper nutrition needed by the body.
She urged the DCs and CCs to use their knowledge on the malnutrition status in their respective areas by coming up with a policy or program that will fit and address the malnutrition problems in these areas.
Flores also appealed for DCs and CCs to be involved with the council to strengthen their efforts against malnutrition and to make programs and policies more relevant and viable to their areas.
"We need a unified effort to accelerate our pace to reach our nutrion target and lower malnutrition," she said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on October 23, 2013.