Iloilo City Nutrition Center to boost fight vs malnutrition

Iloilo City Nutrition Center

Iloilo City is winning the battle against malnutrition and looks to sustain the effort with the operation of the newly-constructed nutrition center.

Data from the Iloilo City Health Office (CHO) indicates a consistent decrease in the prevalence of malnutrition among children aged zero to 59 months from 2019 to 2023. Cases of stunting, wasting, and overweight/obese among the said age group went down from 2.30 %, 1.50% and 3.10% in 2019 to 1.80%, 0.90% and 2.60% in 2023, respectively.
Based on the Operation Timbang Plus (E-OPT) 2023 of the CHO-Nutrition Program, of the 36,926 pre-schoolers weighed in Iloilo City, 628 or 1.7 percent are severely underweight and underweight; 957 or 2.6 percent are stunted and severely stunted; 348 are wasted and severely wasted, and 647 are overweight and obese.
CHO Nutritionist-Dietitian II Clarisse Montealto-Nieves is optimistic that the figures will further go down once the  4-storey Iloilo City Nutrition Center starts to operate this year.
“We hope to further reduce the number significantly this year with our new facility and other interventions,” she said.

Mayor Jerry P. Treñas said that the new health facility is a big boost to the city’s goal to improve the nutritional status of young Ilonggo kids especially those coming from indigent families.

“Nutrition is very important for our children so we must focus on giving them the right nutrition so they will grow up healthy and perform well in school,” Treñas said.

Located in General Luna Street,  the construction of Iloilo City Nutrition Center was funded by the city government at approximately P54-million. The facility will feature nutrition office or clinic of the CHO, nutrition-production area, and function halls.

“This is the kind of project we want to accomplish using our collected taxes. We are giving back to the people through improved services,” said Treñas.

CHO head Dr. Annabelle Tang said that the center will open by the second or third quarter of this year once the required equipment, training of personnel, and necessary permits to operate are done.

The city government will be collaborating with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST)-Western Visayas, and Florete Group of Companies and Bombo Radyo Philippines for the production of enhanced nutribun (e-nutribun) and other nutritious complementary feeding mix.

DOST will provide technical assistance especially in the formulation of the ingredients for the nutritious food mix and some of the equipment, while the Florete Group will help in terms of nutrition promotion as well as equipment provision.

“We are thankful to DOST-6 regional director Rowen Gelonga and Florete Group of Companies chairman Dr. Rogelio Florete Sr. for extending their help and for being one with us in this fight against malnutrition in our city,” Treñas added.

The city is set to sign a Memorandum of Agreement with the said partners for the operationalization of the center.

fight vs malnutrition

Holistic approach vs malnutrition

According to Dr. Tang, CHO is implementing a holistic approach to further address malnutrition which includes stronger nutrition endeavors together with barangays and other City Hall offices like the Office of the City Agriculturist (OCA).

Aside from the regular feeding activities in the barangays, maintenance of gulayan or vegetable gardens and other initiatives at their level, the CHO and OCA will expand the adopt-a-malnourished child program, which is currently being implemented in some barangays maintaining the JPT Ediscape or Edible Landscaping.

Once the malnourished children are adopted, they will be provided not only with nutribuns and other supplemental feeding, but also with fresh vegetables and fruits.

“We will monitor their nutrition status quarterly to see their improvement,” she added.

The CHO chief also noted that currently there are 59 kids from barangays Calumpang, San Juan, Navais, and Calahunan who are beneficiaries of the Mingo Nutrition Program, a project of Ilonggo Senator Franklin Drilon in partnership with the Iloilo City Government, Negros Volunteer for Change (NVC), and businessman Don Alfonso Tan.

“With all these initiatives and interventions, we are confident that we can win the fight against malnutrition for the benefit of our Ilonggo children,” Tang stressed. (With reports from Iloilo City PIO)

About Nonoy Taclino

Nonoy Taclino is a pioneer blogger and social media manager in Iloilo, with 15 years of experience under his belt.

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