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Editorial | Improving children’s health

The Philippines failed to achieve the target of the UN Millennium Development Goal on the prevalence of underweight children under 5 years of age. Countries that failed to achieve some of the goals to halve world poverty are now catching up through the UN Sustainable Goals to improve the situation of humanity and the environment.

Great strides have to be done by the Philippines to improve the nutrition status of children 0 to 2 years old and we assume plans are underway to eradicate the country’s extreme poverty and hunger status. In the city, the Community-based Management Acute Malnutrition Model (CMAMM), a program developed to change the condition of malnourished children has reaped successful results. Last week, City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte said its implementation lowered the incidence of malnourished children in the city to 0.9 percent.

Still, the city has identified vulnerable areas, most of which are located in the hinterlands or in rural areas. The City Health Office plans to assess 190,274 children aged zero to 59 months (2 years) through Operation Timbang Plus (OPT). This activity will identify the actual number of malnourished children in these areas so that appropriate intervention can be provided. So far, the CHO has weighed 189,080 children of which 4,699 were identified as underweight while 1,245 were Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM).

Lack of access to healthy food, parents lack of interest in planting vegetables and their lack of knowledge on the importance of healthy food intake especially the go, grow and glow foods, were identified as some of the factors that cause malnutrition of children in the hinterlands.

Ensuring the health of our children today is building a strong foundation for the health of our future.

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