PPAN Visayas presents plan to address malnutrition, food insecurity in 5 years

By: Niña Mae C. Oliverio - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | October 02,2023 - 09:04 PM

(L-R) Dr. Parolita Mission, NNC-7 Regional Program Coordinator; Jovita Raval, NNC Information and Education Division Chief; Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumma; and DOH-7 Director Jaime Bernadas discuss PPAN 2023-2028 in a forum on Monday, Oct. 1.

(L-R) Dr. Parolita Mission, NNC-7 Regional Program Coordinator; Jovita Raval, NNC Information and Education Division Chief; Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumma; and DOH-7 Director Jaime Bernadas discuss PPAN 2023-2028 in a forum on Monday, Oct. 1. | CDN Photo/Niña Mae Oliverio

CEBU CITY, Philippines — A program that aims to address malnutrition and other health concerns was formally launched in Cebu City on Monday, October 2, 2023.

The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2023-2028 would serve as the government’s blueprint in addressing concerns on malnutrition in the next five years.

Dr. Parolita Mission, National Nutrition Council in Central Visayas (NNC-7) Regional Program Coordinator, said that malnutrition remains prevalent in the region.

Quoting the outcome of their 2022 Operation Timbang Plus, Mission said that about 8.5 percent of children, who are under five years old, fall under the stunting category or chronic malnutrition.  This was equivalent to 55,741 of the children belonging to this age bracket in the region.

However, the number was already lower compared to the 2021 data that reached 72,179.

Mission was joined by Health Undersecretary Abdullah Dumma; Jovita Raval, NNC Information and Education Division Chief; and DOH-7 Director Jaime Bernadas in the gathering on Monday.

Acute malnutrition

Still using 2022 data, Mission said that 2.2 percent or 14, 503 of the preschool children in Central Visayas are suffering from acute malnutrition.  In 2021, at least 17,884 preschool children were found to be acutely malnourished, which is a form of under-nutrition caused by a decrease in food consumption and/or illness that results in sudden weight loss or oedema (fluid retention).

The percentage of underweight children, who are between 10 to 12 years old, have decreased from 4.9 percent in 2021 to only 3.6 percent in 2022 while obesity among children, who are between five to 10 years old, also decreased from 3.1 percent in 2021 to 2.8 percent in 2022.

Mission said that Cebu was among the 34 provinces in the country, identified by NNC, with cases of malnutrition, especially among children who are under five years old.

The other provinces were Leyte, Sulu, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Samar, Lanao Del Norte, Masbate, Palawan, Basilan, Camarines Sur, Quezon, Zamboanga Del Norte, Zamboanga Del Sur, Maguindanao, Bukidnon, Iloilo, Cavite, Bulacan, Cotabato, Oriental Mindoro, Pangasinan, Rizal, Davao Del Sur, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Pampanga, Sorsogon, Eastern Samar, Northern Samar, Surigao Del Sur, Zamboanga Sibugay, Antique, and Tawi-Tawi.

Raval said that areas with cases of malnutrition also suffer from high poverty incidence and are “frequented” by natural disasters such as typhoons.

“So, mahirap makaahon yung mga pamilya na yon, but in this PPAN for Region 7, Cebu is one of the priority provinces because of the high magnitude of malnutrition,” Raval said.

Food insecurity

Raval added that besides malnutrition, PPAN 2023-2028 would also focus on addressing food insecurity which refers to the lack of regular access to enough, safe, and nutritious food for a healthy life.

Among the interventions identified in PPAN 2023-2028 include the establishment and maintenance of food gardens in schools, communities, and workplaces; setting up of KADIWA stores; and the provision of health and nutrition services in schools.

In a press release, NCC said that PPAN also “contributes to the achievement of the United Nation’ Sustainable Development Goals as well as poverty reduction and hunger mitigation.”

PPAN is NNC’s program that is in accordance with its mission of formulating, coordinating, and monitoring nutrition policies and for integrated multi-sectoral action towards sustainable nutrition that was first launched in Manila on September 4, 2023. / dcb


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TAGS: Central Visayas, DOH, malnutrition

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