Guv directs officials to solve malnutrition

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Thursday, May 22, 2014


CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Governor Lilia Pineda on Thursday directed social workers, teachers, and health officers in the province to address the growing issue on malnutrition, especially in public schools.

The governor issued the directive as she learned about the alarming statistics of malnutrition in the province particularly in the Fourth District, which include the towns of Minalin, Masantol, Apalit, Candaba, and San Simon.

Department of Education (DepEd) officials and health officers in the province met with the governor Thursday and discussed the government's feeding program to deal with the problem.

DepEd reported that more than 8,000 children in Pampanga are malnourished.

Pineda said the figures were alarming considering that the average number of malnutrition cases in the region is only 1,500.

The governor directed concerned offices to prioritize health programs for children.

"Napansin ko po lahat ng inilalapit sa akin na may sakit ay puro matatanda, walang bata. Siguro iyung ibang magulang nahihiya na mag-report o magpatulong sa kalagayan ng kanilang mga anak," she said.

Pineda said the province has appropriated funds for several programs for children but hinted that they are not enough.

She urged DepEd Regional Director Isabelita Borres to coordinate with the Provincial Government in terms of financial support to solve the problem.

The governor also asked the agency to coordinate with barangay councils and Municipal Government.

Fourth District Board Member Ric Yabut disclosed that the number of dropouts in schools in his district is high because of malnutrition.

"Minsan po ay 18 lamang ang guma-graduate sa isang batch dahil sa malnutrition," he said.

First District Board Member Crisostomo Garbo suggested the establishment of health centers in the province’s four districts.

The health centers, he said, will specifically handle cases of malnourished children.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on May 23, 2014.

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