Nutrition Month aims to curb stunting among children
CEBU, Philippines — With special focus on combatting stunting among children, the National Nutrition Council yesterday launched virtually the 46th Nutrition Month in response to the call of the Inter-Agency Task Force to avoid mass gatherings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease.
In Central Visayas, NNC-7 program coordinator Dr. Parolita Mission said the council has adjusted its plans this month as most people are based at home nowadays with the community quarantine still in effect.
Among the salient points discussed during the launch yesterday are as follows: online stunting and the implication of changes brought about the pandemic and experiences from select local government units and non-government organizations in implementing programs and projects focused on the First 1,000 Days that the council’s partners could emulate.
NNC also seeks to offer measures where mothers, would-be mothers and caregivers can adapt to prevent stunting, encourage the public to support First 1,000 Days program through actual experiences of other mothers in caring for their children and demonstrate online correct and appropriate complementary food preparation for children six months and older.
The First 1,000 Days pertains to the child’s first thousand days after birth which roughly translate to 32 months or nearly three years.
“With that, I hope you will learn more on stunting and correct the misconceptions that stunting is hereditary and above all, participate in our campaign to make children in CV and all over the country taller, healthier and brighter,” said Mission.
Carrying the theme “Batang Pinoy SANA TALL… Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL!,” this year’s nationwide celebration focuses on the nutrition problem of stunting.
Mission said that stunting has serious short-term and long-term consequences on children, affecting in the process health and human capital development. Some of these consequences include poor physical growth, increased childhood risk of infection and mortality, poor cognitive and motor development, and decreased learning capacity and school performance.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines stunting as the impaired growth and development that children experience because of poor nutrition, repeated infection, and inadequate opportunities to learn and play.
Mission said that one of the most direct causes of stunting is inadequate nutrition.
NNC-7, in a statement, emphasized the importance of good nutrition in the First 1,000 Days in preventing stunting in early childhood and in producing “healthier, taller and brighter children.” JMD (FREEMAN)