2nd Batch of BNS undergoes training on Child Growth Standards

In order to equip the city’s Barangay Nutrition Scholars

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(BNS) with sufficient skills and prepare them for the adoption of a new method of detecting children’s nutritional status, the City Nutrition Council (CNC) facilitated the training on Child Growth Standards (CGS) last from January 8 – 9, 2013 at the Cocina de Cabral.

The CGS System is to replace the National Center for Health Statistics’ (NCHS) International Reference Standards (IRS) by virtue of Department of Health (DOH) Administative Order 2010-0015. Approved and recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), the former is considered as a more reliable and accurate method of determining the nutritional status of children aged 0 to 5 years old as it also involves the computation of children’s weight-for-age, length/height-for-age and weight-for-length/height. These three aforementioned indicators are meant to guide the BNS in identifying the factors that affect a child’s growth, which is in turn, the first step towards knowing the right interventions to undertake.

Catbalogan City Division’s Nutrition Coordinator, Florena Dolorzo, Ph. D took this opportunity to seek the help of BNS in behalf of the schools. She expressed concern that due to their many responsibilities, teachers might not be able to focus on the extra task of weight monitoring of school children and might be the cause for their data to be compromised. Consequently, lack of reliable and accurate data is seen as one of the factors that contributed to the city’s poor standing when it comes to the matter of nutrition.

This was the second time that the said training was conducted and this time has in attendance the nutrition scholars from the coastal, upland and island barangays. Dolorzo along with select midwives and nurses from the City Health Office, who are deemed as crucial actors in the city’s nutrition campaign, also sat as participants. The first batch of BNS to undergo this training was from the poblacion barangays and was held from December 20 to 21, 2013.

The said activity was held at a time when the city is struggling to improve its current standing, being the Local Government Unit with the highest incidence of malnutrition based on 2011 data released by the National Nutrition Council (NNC). It is also the latest in the series of initiatives taken by the CNC to mobilize and motivate Barangay Nutrition Scholars so that they will become active players in the city’s campaign to improve its current nutritional situation.

Of late, the city’s barangay nutrition scholars were given IDs to indicate their official membership into the National Nutrition Council. A recent memorandum issued by the Office of the City Mayor also puts them under the supervision of the City Health Office when it comes to the gathering and collating of data on the growth of children in the barangays.

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