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DOH launches strategy to combat malnutrition in Davao Region

THE DEPARTMENT of Health (DOH) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC) XI launched the 11th Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition to address the triple burden of malnutrition in the country: undernutrition (stunting and wasting), overnutrition (overweight and obese), and micronutrient deficiencies. 

The six-year plan is aligned with the new administration, under the Philippine Development Plan, which now focuses on the nutrition condition of all ages in the country. 

According to the 2022 NNC-XI Operation Timbang Plus data, there is 5.8% case of stunting, 1.1% wasting, and 1.6% overweight in Davao Region for children under five years old, mostly from Davao del Sur, Davao Occidental, and Davao del Norte. 

DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang said stunting needs a special focus among their different programs.

“So why are we always talking about stunting here? This is not merely because of the physical aspect but because of the development of the brain. When the child is stunted, it is really impaired,” Dayanghirang said.

Dayanghirang urged all local government units to prioritize nutrition, placing it at the forefront of the national and subnational units in the agenda. 

“We are accelerating all our efforts, lahat ng mga batang Pilipino, gusto natin maging malusog, matangkad, matalino, and competitive Filipinos,” she added. 

In line with this, NNC-XI program coordinator Dr. Maria Teresa Ungson said they networked with different sectors in society such as the academe, government agencies, business, and youth, to support the nutrition movement, by establishing the Scaling Up Nutrition Network across the country. 

Ungson stressed these sectors could also “contribute in different forms such as technical assistance, development, and research”. 

DOH-XI Dr. Annabelle Yumang also shared the region’s efforts on nutrition, such as the need for municipalities to have a nutritionist dietician to further address nutrition, more breastfeeding-friendly establishments, implementing programs for pregnant women, and the continuous implementation of orientations and training for health workers. 

Yumang also mentioned the importance of in-house gardening to sustain nutritious food in the household. 

To further combat malnutrition, the Department of Health allocated a total budget of P592 billion, accumulated from 60 national government agencies for five years. 


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