BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 24(PIA) - - Some interventions are crucial in sustaining the gains in the reduction of stunting which is one of the nutrition concerns in the country.
United Nations Children's Fund Nutrition International Senior Consultant Cecilio Adorna Sr, the keynote speaker in the recent Regional Nutrition Award Ceremony, commended the efforts of the various stakeholders and brought to fore interventions crucial in sustaining the gains of reducing stunting.
He underscored some critical interventions necessary and must do which mostly involve the Department of Health's leadership and have bearing on the health personnel's conduct on the ground.
One is to ensure that pregnant women avail of the appropriate services and the needed commodities especially during the first trimester. He cited the Quezon province and Malabon experiences where a barangay volunteer is only focused in looking into the concerns of pregnant women.
Monitoring on the actual consumption of iron folic acid (IFA) not only its distribution is very important in the pursuit of the reduction of stunting, Adorna stressed.
The dietary supplement program (DSP) for pregnant women which is simply called snacks that contain calories, protein and micronutrients should also be looked into. These are found in food such as ginataan, banana, yam, sweet potatoes and the like. A follow through for the baby six months to 23 months of DSP is as important, he added.
The compendium of action for nutrition is also one intervention which is within the power and authority of LGUs in finding adequate resources for the nutrition program. These are in the form of ordinances and issuances which serve as legal references in support to nutrition programs.
Raising the prevalence of breastfeeding is another factor which helps prevent stunting. Adorna cited the involvement of the husband like what the Quezon LGU is doing involving the family in the first 1,000 days, critical in the child's growth.
An important ingredient in seeing the progress of the nutrition programs is the regular quarterly monitoring and accounting of personnel involved from the barangay level up to the municipal level, according to Adorna.
The critical interventions for maternal and child health and nutrition in addressing stunting must have 90 percent coverage to make it sustainable, he added.
But interventions are not sustainable if the family continues to be under the poverty list, he said. Thus, local planning officers including the agriculture, labor and other departments of the LGUs must look into ways in helping families avail of livelihood opportunities with nutrition concerns factored in. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR)