THE National Nutrition Council (NNC) 7 highlighted the importance of carrying out interventions in the First 1,000 Days of a child’s life “to cut the problem of malnutrition at its root.”
In a statement, NNC 7 said that efforts done during the First 1,000 Days are “strategic” instead of fighting malnutrition “with conventional Band-Aid activities mostly targeting children who are already malnourished and often these interventions come too late.”
The First 1,000 Days of a child’s life start from the mother’s conception until the child reaches his or her second birthday. It comprises 270 days of pregnancy, 365 days of the baby’s first year, and another 365 days of his or her second year.
This period is considered as the “golden window of opportunity” for the child to achieve his or her full potential in the different aspects of development.
“In the past, interventions against malnutrition were broad and generic. Then we did research, looked up studies, and observed how other countries are effectively fighting malnutrition, and they are carrying out interventions in the First 1,000 Days,” said Dr. Parolita A. Mission, NNC 7 regional nutrition program coordinator.
The First 1,000 Days is one of the strategic thrusts of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022, which she said is consistent with the recommendations from the Lancet Series on Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition in 2008.