CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga – The Provincial Nutrition Committee (PNC) distributed 41 units of heavy duty bar type weighing scale to rural health units (RHUs) in a bid to monitor and support underweight children in the province.
This coincided with the kick-off ceremony of the 46th Nutrition Month celebration held at the Benigno Aquino Hall, Brgy. Sto. Niño, here.
Elaine Tinambunan, provincial nutrition action officer, said that the equipment will be utilized to get accurate results for the Operation Timbang (OPT) Plus program.
She explained the OPT Plus program is aimed at monitoring the weight of the children aged two (2) and above. The data that will be gathered will be used as basis for the nutrition program intended for the Kapampangan children.
“Through OPT Plus program, titimbangin ng ating mga Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) ang mga batang edad 0-59 buwan sa kani-kanilang mga barangay kada taon, mula Enero hanggang Marso. Ang resulta ng OPT Plus ang magiging basehan sa pagbuo ng mga plano at programang pangkalusugan at nutrisyon. Magagamit din natin ito upang malaman kung saan, ilan, at sino ang dapat bigyang priority sa ating mga programa,” said Tinambunan.
With the theme “Batang Pinoy, SANA TALL… Iwas Stunting, SAMA ALL! Iwas ALL din sa COVID-19,” the PNC said that they are bent on implementing programs that aim to support pregnant women, lactating mothers, and severely underweight and stunted children, especially in today’s time of crisis.
“Mahalaga na bigyang-pansin ang nutrisyon ng bata habang ito ay nasa sinapupunan pa lamang, nang sa gayo’y maging malusog ito sa oras na isilang siya ng kanyang ina,” said Tinambunan.
She added that if the mother is healthy during pregnancy, she will give birth to a well-nourished child, and the number of stunted children will be lessened.
Tinambunan also stressed the importance of breastfeeding in the proper nutrition of a newly-born infant.
“Dapat maging aware din ang mga ina sa kahalagahan ng breastfeeding, especially sa mga batang zero to six months old. Dapat purong breastfeeding lang ang mga ‘yan, no water, no vitamins, kasi lahat ng ‘yon, nasa gatas na ng ina. Masustansya, malinis, affordable at readily available, may antibodies din na magsisilbing unang bakuna ni baby laban sa impeksyon at anumang sakit,” she said.
Aside from this, Tinambunan also said that it is important to pay attention to the nutrition of the children on their first one thousand days of life – from womb up to two years – in order to lessen the cases of stunting in the country, particularly in the province.
She also thanked Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda for his non-stop support for the programs concerning the health and welfare of the Kapampangan children and mothers.
“Sobrang laking bagay na nariyan si Governor Delta, kundi dahil sa kanya, hindi natin maipagpapatuloy ang mga programa natin na nakalaan para sa ating mga ina, lalung-lalo na sa mga bata,” Tinambunan said.
Also present during the said ceremony were Board Members Fritzie David-Dizon, Cherry Manalo, Anthony Joseph Torres, Nelson Calara, Renato Mutuc, Benjamin Jocson, Venancio Macapagal, Rolando Balingit, and Ananias Canlas, Jr..
The Nutrition Month celebration is in accordance with the Presidential Decree No. 491, s. 1974, also known as the Nutrition Act of the Philippines, signed by then President Ferdinand Marcos.