Nutrition is everybody’s concern

CITY OF TABUK, Kalinga, Aug. 2(PIA) -- “No single sector has the sole role to promote nutrition but is rather a multi-sectoral task,” according to Cordilleran doctor who is adviser to USAID- supported Department of Health projects in North Luzon.

Dr. Edward Tandingan, the guest speaker during the Nutrition Month culmination program on Tuesday here, made a definitive role of every agency in government in working for a nourished population even as he also called on communities to practice household gardening.

The job of building a healthy nation is not only given as a concern of the health or social welfare offices but even infra agencies do a role by making good roads to transport food or the local government units on a well informed citizenry about nutrition and in keeping track on policy directions on health.

He said there is much to provide in correcting nutritional deficiencies particularly the under-5 children like underweight, under height, the stunted and the vulnerable pregnant and lactating mothers.

“There is no use to j talk about nutrition if there is no food on table, good variety of food,” he said stressing that providing abundant food means those kinds of food necessary for the proper nutrition of the body.

He said malnutrition is still one of the country’s big problems as he cited the role of education as the greatest equalizer, a requisite to expect a healthy and intelligent populace.

“Instead of feeding our children junk foods, feed them with vegetables and fruits,” he encouraged.

He presented the Homestead Food Production Project in Calaocan, Rizal, an experience towards fastracking rural development  where underweight children decreased from 16% to 6% at the endline and stunting reduced to 19% from the 20% baseline.

The project also resulted in improved home gardens, increased production of micro-nutrient rich foods, increased income, and increased dietary diversification for children and women.

Key lessons from the Gulayan sa Calaocan, Tungo sa Kalusugan is to involve the community, seek the support of the  LGUs, establish strong link with the health services, and provide feedback to the partners and community, he said.

With this experience and in line with this year’s theme: “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat Na Nutrisyon Aanihin”, he strongly pushed for household gardening and turn idle lands into food production areas.

“But this must also be a househod partnerhsip. While husbands work to provide food, mothers should teach children to eat organic foods and explain the benefits they take from it,” Tandingan stressed.

Dr. Tandingan from Balbalan, Kalinga started his career in 1986 as a barrio doctor. Through the years, he worked in various capacities.Prersently, he is   Senior Regional Technical Adviser to the Research Triangle Intstitute under USAID for three Luzon DOH projects.

After the program, representatives from municipalities and schools competed in the different contested activities that include dance competition  among senior citizens and children, literary, slogan, poster making, infomercials, quiz-bee for barangay nutrition scholars, cooking, gardening, and healthy baby.( PIA Kalinga)


EL Kikasa

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