Some 100 undernourished children in every province in MIMAROPA (Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) would be fed by the Department of Health (DOH) for 90 days under the “Oplan Kain Sigla Program.”
The DOH-MIMAROPA, which has started another round of “Eat to Nourish Approach” feeding package, is targeting 520 preschool children in the five provinces of the region.
“We have identified 100 plus undernourished preschool children in each province with the objective of improving their nutritional status from underweight or severely underweight to normal in a span of 90 days,” DOH regional director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
“A full meal amounting to P80 per day, including AM snack, would be given for the selected preschoolers who belong to age six to 71 months and whose weight and height were recorded to be low for their age,” he added.
Among the beneficiaries are 100 children from Socorro, Oriental Mindoro; 100 from Abra De Ilog, Occidental Mindoro; 100 from Sta. Cruz, Marinduque; 100 from Sta. Fe, Romblon; and 120 from Aborlan, Palawan.
“These municipalities are noted to be in the upper list of LGUs (local government units) with high prevalence of undernutrition based on their 2017 OPT Plus (Operation Timbang plus Height),” Janairo disclosed.
The 90-day feeding program, excluding Saturday and Sunday, aims to provide 30 percent to 50 percent of the total caloric needs of the undernourished preschoolers which is between 1,000 and 1,400 calories per day.
The eighth National Nutrition Survey revealed that MIMAROPA has the highest underweight and wasting prevalence in the country.
The 2014 National Nutrition Council Operation Timbang also shown that 9.8 percent or 10 out of 100 preschoolers are underweight for their age.
Janairo stressed that a malnourished child has little energy for play and this minimizes his/her ability to acquire knowledge concepts and skills that promote brain development.
“That is why we need to provide them foods that provide energy and nutrients which require growth and nourishment and protection from diseases,” he said.
“We will be assessing these children after the feeding project and if there are some who are found out to still be deficient, we will continue to feed them until they reach their normal body weight and height,” he assured.