As far as Catbalogan City is concerned, the observance of the Nutrition Month this July comes with a very serious mission: to get out of the top list of Local Government Units with a very high incidence of malnutrition.

The data coming from NNC based on the 2012 weighing activity revealed that the Province of Samar had the highest malnutrition prevalence at 17.88% while Catbalogan and Calbayog are the two cities with the highest incidence of the same at 18.31% and 14.41% respectively. Catbalogan City has held the top spot in this ranking for the second year now.

The most recent data submitted by the CHO to the NNC showed that out of 15,681 preschoolers aged 0-71 months old, only 13,155 participated in the Operation Timbang and out of these, 2,647 were found to be malnourished.

One of the initial interventions to be done by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) is to conduct massive 2-month supplementary feeding program in every daycare center, which is to be

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augmented with constant weight monitoring.

This initiative will be launched this July 10, 2013 in Barangay Silanga, where malnutrition is most prevalent. The CSWDO has selected thirty underweight and severely underweight children aged 24 – 35 months to take part in a milk feeding program. The same shall also go through constant weight monitoring. The City Health Office will also be administering iron supplement in aid of this initiative.

For the succeeding days of the Nutrition Month, the CSWDO has also partnered with the CHO for a series of lectures and fora about proper nutrition and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), to be held in barangays that were identified to have serious problems regarding malnutrition.

As recommended by the City Nutrition Council headed by Nutrition Action Officer Herminia S. Cabral, former City Mayor Coefredo T. Uy explained to the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in a letter dated June 23, 2013 that due to the Injunction Order on the city’s Annual Budget for 2013, the Nutrition Month Celebration will be limited to advocacy and information campaign.

For this same purpose, new City Mayor Stephany Uy-Tan had already issued a memo addressed to the City Division urging all schools to conduct activities aimed at raising awareness about the importance of proper nutrition. She also intends to tackle this particular problem with key offices in the meetings and consultations that she will hold in the next few days.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay, Office of the City Mayor)

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