CANLAON City in Negros Oriental and Borbon town in Cebu were recognized as the best local government units (LGUs) during the Healthy Pilipinas Awards for Healthy Communities.

The two local government units in Central Visayas won this year’s Healthy Pilipinas Awards under the Priority Area 1 known as the Nutrition and Physical Activity category.

Canlaon City won for its “Multi-Sectoral Approach in the Reduction of Malnutrition” strategy where various government offices together with the non-government organizations and its 12 barangays worked together to conduct quality nutrition programs to reduce the prevalence rate of undernutrition.

These programs include establishment and maintenance of the Rehabilitation Center for Malnourished Children (mal-ward); increased budget in the city nutrition action plan; capacity building of health and nutrition workers; integrated community food production; cooking demonstration to mothers with undernourished children; and "5K sa Unang 1K" program.

Canlaon City also came up with an income-generating project dubbed “Sikad, Sayaw, ug Tikang: Kabataan sa Canlaon atong Amumahon, Malnutrisyon atong Sugpuon!” which will be implemented this year.

The said programs rendered positive results like increase in the number of exclusively-breastfed infants, decrease in low birth weight prevalence, increase in facility-based delivery based on their FHSIS (Field Health Services Information System) from 2014 to 2019; and decrease in their underweight prevalence from 11.34 percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent in 2019.

Borbon in Cebu, on the other hand, bagged the same award for their “Healthy Nanay and Bulilit Program,” a comprehensive approach towards malnutrition in children and women.

The program aims to address the problem of malnutrition through the creation of local policies and resolutions institutionalizing and cascading national programs on nutrition, budget allocation, and antenatal care services incorporating nutrition in pregnancy.

Borbon also conducted the municipal and barangay First 1000 Days campaign, establishment of community pantry for identified nutritionally-at-risk mothers and malnourished children, and capacity-building of healthcare workers and women.

These programs were the results of the combined efforts of the local nutrition committees in the said LGUs and the support of their constituents. (PIA)