TABUK, Kalinga - Malnutrition of the province has significantly reduced in three years indicating effective advocacy and efforts to address the problem.

Provincial Nutrition Coordinator Frances Sebastian said there is a yearly drop in malnutrition rate of Kalinga from 2008 of 9.4 percent to 8.43 percent in 2009 and 7.92 percent this year.

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The latest Operation Timbang (OPT) conducted January-March this year, showed out of the 28,887 children aging below six years old, 7.92 percent or 2,287 are malnourished.

The data also showed that 2,083 of the total number of weighed children fall under the malnutrition rate of below-normal low, while 205 children fall under below-normal very low.

From the same OPT this year, the municipal malnutrition rank among the eight towns of the province was gathered from the most serious, Rizal - 11.42 percent, Pinukpuk - 8.92 percent, Tanudan - 8.30 percent, Lubuagan - 8.12 percent, Tabuk - 7.75 percent, Balbalan - 6.72 percent, Pasil - 5.36 percent, and Tinglayan - 4.25 percent.

The Provincial Nutrition Council (PNC), spearheaded by the Provincial Health Office (PHO), recommended supplemental feeding to identified most malnourished barangays in Rizal and Pinukpuk.

In Rizal, 40 boxes of noodles, several boxes of sardines and two cavans of rice are provided by the local chapter of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) for recipient children in barangays San Francisco, Santor and Macutay. PNRC is also giving 30 boxes noodles, sardines and rice in Pinukpuk.

The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) contributed sacks of rice for the activity.

With the goods from PNRC and PSWDO, the feeding activity, Sebastian said will last for three months. She hopes that the municipal government units will augment the food supply to cover longer period.

Other non-government organization like the Helen Keller Foundation came in to help provide measures to arrest malnutrition in Rizal by bringing in food production technology. (Larry Lopez)