The City Health Office (CHO) is targeting to assess 190,274 children aged zero to 59 months in its planned Operation Timbang Plus (OPT).
Elizabeth Banzon, CHO Nutrition Division chief, said the program aims to identify a local nutrition planning and zero in on the actual number of malnourished children, especially in poor areas.
Banzon said the CHO already covered 189,080 children.
From that, 4,699 were identified as underweight while 1,245 were Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).
Poor communities topped the CHO’s list of nutritionally depressed areas.
The top 10 communities tagged as nutritionally depressed are barangays Gumitan, Dalag-Lumot, Baganihan and Marilog Proper in Marilog District; Sumimao, Tapak and Colosas in Paquibato Disrtict; Megkawayan and Lampianao in Calinan District, and Sibulan in Toril District.
Banzon said they will continue their monitoring on some parts of the city to identify more communities and provide the necessary assistance to combat malnutrition.
Banzon explained that children from poor areas are more prone to malnutrition because of the lack of access to healthy foods. Also, “their parents are not interested in planting vegetables in their backyards, they will have no other source of food.”
She also noted their lack of knowledge on the importance of healthy food intake especially the go, grow and glow foods.
“Our immediate intervention for that is to provide necessary assistance through our barangay nutrition officers. We also tied up with the barangay officials for the feeding,” Banzon said.