ArchivesJuly 2010NegOr has highest malnutrition rate in CV

NegOr has highest malnutrition rate in CV

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Negros Oriental registered the highest malnutrition prevalence rate among the provinces in Region 7 for 2009.

Records from the regional office of the Department of Health show that Negros Oriental holds the top spot in malnutrition prevalence rate in the region with 11.31 percent, followed by Cebu with 9.46 percent, Bohol with 8.12 percent, and Siquijor with 7.99 percent. {{more}}

The first four cities with the highest malnutrition rates in the region are also in Negros Oriental with Canlaon City posting 11.34 percent, followed by Bayawan City with 10.62 percent, Bais City with 10.2 percent and Tanjay City with 6.42 percent. Cebu city followed with 5.68 percent while the city with the lowest prevalence rate is Lapu-Lapu City with 1.45 percent.

Although the province’s prevalence rate is the highest in the region last year, records also show that the malnutrition rate here have been dropping regularly since 2007, said Dr. Parolita Mission, regional nutrition program coordinator of DOH-7, during the recent Kapihan forum conducted by the Philippine Information Agency here.

In 2007, the province’s malnutrition rate was pegged at 11.88 percent. It dropped to 11.57 percent in 2008 and went down again to 11.31 percent last year.

“Even if the malnutrition rate in Negros Oriental is high, we’re happy that it has maintained a downward trend in the past three years. Even if the decrease has been slight, it’s still a decrease,” said Mission.

The low rates of the towns here also made it to last year’s top ten nutritionally depressed municipalities in the region. Vallehermoso ranked no. 1 with a 25.1 percent malnutrition prevalence rate, followed by Mabinay at rank no. 3 with 17.6 percent. Guihulngan ranked no. 6 with 17 percent followed by Tayasan with 16.6 percent.

Bohol province’s Buena Vista ranked the lowest with 15.5 percent.

The ranking’s figures are based from the results of the Operation Timbang (weight monitoring) conducted among infants from zero to 71 months old (5 years old) in the barangays.

Mission stressed that there is a dire need for local government units in Negros Oriental to place more importance in the implementation of nutrition-related programs in the barangays.

She noted that there only about 20 percent of the total barangays in the province have barangay nutrition scholars who are implementing nutrition programs at the grassroots level.

This is one of the factors that Mission said contributes to the province’s high malnutrition prevalence rate.

“There is a lack of focus on nutrition programs at the barangay level here and yet this is where the battle is,” said Mission.

She said that based on the law, there should be at least one barangay nutrition scholar in each village and there may be more depending on the population of the community.

The provincial government is currently shouldering the honorarium received by the barangay nutrition scholars.

Mission accedes that the provincial government might not also afford to ensure that all barangays here have barangay nutrition scholars as it places a heavy strain on the Province’s coffers. “Dili pud tnu-od ma-ahum sa probinsya kung tanan naa’y BNS kay bug-at sya sa panudlanan sa Province,” she said.

She cited that Negros Oriental can follow Bohol’s lead in which the Bohol provincial government slowly relinquished the task of financing the barangay nutrition scholars’ honorarium to the local government units. (PIA/Rachelle Nessia)



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