DOH - Regional Nutrition Council/DOST – NUTRICOMNET jointly spearhead Nutrition Month Regional Launching this July 2014
The member-institutions of the Department of Health - Regional Nutrition Council (DOH-RNC) and the Department of Science and Technology - Nutrition Communicators Network (DOST-NURTICOMNET) headed by Dr. Gloria G. Balboa, Regional Director, DOH and Dir. Tomas B. Briñas, Regional Director, DOST V, respectively jointly spearheaded the regional launching for this year’s Nutrition Month (NM) Celebration. Its theme is “Kalamidad Paghandaan: Gutom at Malnutrisyon agapan!”
During the planning session for the conduct of this activity, the province of Camarines Sur was highly recommended as its venue with DOST’s initiative called “Science for Safer Communities (S4SC) conducted last 19-20 May 2014 in said province. S4SC, an IEC Campaign highlighted DOST’s Projects NOAH (Nationwide Operational Assessment of Hazards), DINA (Disaster Information for Nationwide Awareness) and DREAM (Disaster Risk and Exposure Assessment for Mitigation) featuring Science-based solutions, e.g. high resolution hazard maps, early warning system and others.
In complementing S4SC, RNC and NUTRICOMNET conducted the NM Regional Launch centered on “Nutrition in Emergencies”. This is a component of DRRM whose main concern is to prepare the vulnerable groups especially the women (pregnant and lactating mothers), children, Senior Citizens, Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) and others. Increase in malnourished cases is an offshoot of a disaster. It should also be prioritized to prevent rapid deterioration since malnutrition particularly on infant and young children already affects Bicol’s regional standing together with other problems on livelihood/employment, etc., above all, poverty is the root cause.
Held on July 2014 at the Camarines Sur Polytechnic Colleges (CSPC), the priority areas/municipalities in Camarines Sur are: Nabua, Balatan, Buhi, Baao, Pili and Iriga City with two hundred (200) local chief executives, barangay officials, health workers and nutrition scholars, and CSPC Food Technology students in attendance. Ex-Mayor Atty. Simbulan, the husband of Mayor Delia Simbulan, now the Administrator of Nabua gave the welcome remarks and cited that it was the first time in Nabua for this activity.
The Bicol River Basin traverses over the Province of Camarines Norte and Sur, and Albay with forty three municipalities (identified barangays in said priority municipalities are mostly flooded due to overflow/heavy rains).
Other important topics discussed were the following:
· 2014 NM Theme: Ms. Arlene R. Reario
Nutrition Program Coordinator
· Flood Forecasting: Engr. Dan Ragudan
Camaligan, Camarines Sur
With the recent Typhoon Glenda that directly hit the Provinces of Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Norte and Sur, and Catanduanes last 15 July 2014, Nutrition in Emergencies should always be among the immediate concerns by LGUs, national government agencies and other stakeholders engaged in health and nutrition, and disaster preparedness. Nutrition in Emergencies is defined as the services that form part of emergency preparedness, response and recovery to prevent deterioration of nutrition status and death. The services can include nutritional assessment; infant and young child feeding promotion, protection and support; management of acute malnutrition, micronutrient supplementation and other food or non-food based interventions.
Nutrition falls under the health cluster together with 1) Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), 2) Health, and 3) Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPS). NNC chairs the Nutrition Cluster together with DOH-Health Emergency Management Staff/ National Center for Disease Prevention and Control/ National Center for Health Facility Development/ National Center for Health Promotion/ Food and Drug Administration, DOST-Food and Nutrition Research Institute, DSWD-Disaster Risk Reduction Response Operations Office/ Council for the Welfare of Children, DILG, DTI, DepEd and CHED as members.