DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Paquibato District has the highest prevalence rate in terms of malnutrition cases in the city, a nutrition representative said.
According to a 2017 record presented by City Health Office Nutrition Officer II Eloisa Simbajon, Paquibato district topped the list of severely underweight + underweight and stunted + severely stunted categories with a prevalence rate of 13.8 percent and 17.8 percent respectively.
The record shows that seven out of ten barangays with highest prevalence rate under the weight for age (underweight and severely underweight- UW+SU) come from Paquibato while four out of the top ten barangays with highest rate of length/weight for age (stunted and severely stunted: St+Sst) category belong to the said district.
Meanwhile, Marilog district placed second on the list with 7.7 percent and 17 percent prevalence rate on weight for age and length/weight for age cases while Baguio district ranked third having 5.3 percent prevalence rate on UW+SU and 13.3 percent on St+Sst.
Simbajon said that one of the factors that lead to the said cases is the mother’s lack of awareness and education.
“Mothers lack education and lack family planning in which they have too many children and they are not able to really take care of them,” Simbajon said.
Based on the Save the Children’s report released on June 1, the Philippines is among the countries having the worst conditions for children growing up.
Accordingly, the Philippines ranked 96th out of 172 countries in the ‘End of Childhood Index 2017’ report. This means that childhood stage of Filipino children are cut short because of death and other factors.
The report identified and assessed eight indicators/conditions that signal the end of childhood including the death of children under five years old, child stunting, out of school youth, child labor, child marriage or union, early pregnancy, displacement by conflict and child as victims of homicide.
The index showed that the country’s child mortality rate (28%), child stunting (30.3%), and adolescent birthrate (62.7%) are the indicators that dragged the Philippines’ ranking.
Save the Children Philippines country director, Ed Onley said that the three major factors present alarming numbers and that shows that the country is left behind by other ASEAN neighbors such as Vietnam (92), Thailand (84), Malaysia (65), Brunei Darussalam (64), and Singapore (33).
Simbajon said that various programs are conducted to address the problem especially in the city.
“We are intensifying counselling and advocacy on proper nutrition also through the City Integrated Management for Acute Malnutrition (CIMAM), deworming and the promotion of the first 1,000 days program,” Simbajon said.
Simbajon said that the CIMAM is one of the best programs that really helped lessen the number of malnutrition cases in the city since it started in 2013.
The CIMAM program is intended to help the severely acute malnourished (SAM) children aged 6-59 months by providing free ‘ready to use therapeutic food’ (RUTF), medicines and thorough monitoring.
“Davao City is blessed with this (CIMAM) program in nutrition. Out of all the feeding programs, this is one of the best in which improvement is really seen on children,” Simbajon said. (davaotoday.com)