12 towns as initial areas: Capitol starts program to address malnutrition

CEBU, Philippines – The Capitol, through the Provincial Nutrition Council Secretariat and the different Municipal Nutrition Committees, has started the implementation of Community Management of Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) in 12 Cebu towns.

In a press statement, the National Nutrition Council-7 identified the towns as Alcantara, Alegria, Argao, Boljoon, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Pinamungajan, Ronda, San Fernando, Samboan, Santander, and Tuburan.

CMAM is a combination of inpatient and out-patient therapeutic feeding for treatment of severe acute malnutrition in those municipalities. It is recognized as one of 13 “highly cost-effective direct nutrition interventions identified in the Scaling-Up Nutrition framework.”

NNC-7 said CMAM is also a key element of the emergency nutrition response to manage risk, sustain and accelerate recovery and enhance resilience in the recipient towns.

“Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) were delivered to the… local government units to be used for their undernourished 6- to 59-month old children and to Minglanilla and Oslob District Hospitals, which will serve as referral centers for these municipalities,” it said.

Prior to the full implementation of CMAM, the Department of Health-7 and the United Nations Children’s Fund trained the health and nutrition personnel of the 12 towns and the two district hospitals on CMAM protocol and in identifying the component RUTF complementary feeding for each town.

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Meanwhile, as the country celebrates Nutrition Month this month, health officials reminded the public to keep a healthy diet and maintain a daily exercise to avoid lifestyle diseases.

Lifestyle diseases include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar.

“Good nutrition starts at home,” said Dr. Anessa Patindol, DOH-7 medical officer, in reminding that parents play a crucial role for the family to stay healthy. She also said brisk walking or dancing for a minimum of 30 minutes a day is already good enough as daily exercise.

Dr. Parolita Mission, NNC-7 regional nutrition program coordinator, likewise said parents should be the role model of healthy eating to their children.

Dr. Christine Melody Caylan, Chong Hua Hospital chief dietician, on the other hand, said the government should also engage industry partners, like canteens in schools and hospitals, in providing healthy food.

And since July is nutrition month, Central Visayas has put a twist to the well-known #FoodPorn hashtag by replacing it with the #SusLami hashtag.

Short for “Sustansyadong Lami”, #SusLami is part of the advocacy to serve and eat healthy and nutritious food (sustansyado) that are also palatable and visually appealing (lami).

The Central Visayas Regional Nutrition Committee said “Sus, lami!” is an expression common to Cebuano speaking areas of the Visayas and Mindanao to connote appreciation for delicious food, which they gave a “tech-savvy” nutrition twist for the celebration.

The campaign, which will last throughout the whole month of July, is part of a series of activities for the Nutrition Month celebration themed “Healthy diet, gawing habit – FOR LIFE!”

It makes use of the growing community obsession of taking photos of their food and posting them on social media accounts.

This time, the NNC- 7 said, netizens are encouraged to post their healthy and nutritious meals to prove that healthy food can taste great and be appealing too.  This way, the public are also taught on the importance of variety, moderation, and balance. —/ RHM (FREEMAN)


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