By Philippine News Agency
GENERAL SANTOS CITY — The provincial government of South Cotabato is working on the expansion of its nutrition programs as it aims to further reduce the incidence of malnutrition in the province.
Ma. Ana Uy, provincial community affairs chief, said Tuesday they have set fresh targets to address malnutrition at the household and community levels, especially those situated in remote areas.
She said the initiative is focused on adequate nutrition for babies in their first 1,000 days, and the establishment of more food gardens among local households.
“We are also stressing the importance of nutrition research to assess if our nutrition projects are on the right track,” said Uy, who is also the provincial nutrition action officer.
She said the province also aims to qualify for the “Green Banner Award” from the National Nutrition Council (NNC), the highest recognition given to local government units with excellent implementation and management of nutritional programs.
Last week, the province received its second Consistent Regional Outstanding Winner in Nutrition or Crown maintenance award from the NNC.
Citing their records, Uy said malnutrition cases in the province’s 10 towns and its lone city have been declining in the past 15 years.
Last year, she said the prevalence rate of malnutrition among infants and children in the area dropped to 4.46 percent.
According to the World Health Organization, a prevalence rate of 5 percent means “you can already refocus the program to sustaining mechanisms.”
“Our overall situation has significantly improved and malnutrition rate in all localities in the province were already in single digits as of the end of 2017,” Uy said.