ILOILO CITY, April 7 (PIA) – – The National Nutrition Council (NNC) launched its dietary supplementation program dubbed “Tutok Kainan” intended to improve women’s nutrition particularly pregnant women in the province of Negros Occidental.
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexie Nograles, chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger, said “Tutok Kainan” supplementation program is an initiative which was launched initially on November 23 last year to operationalize Republic Act 11148, also known as the First 1000 Days of Life Act which was signed by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte in November 2018.
RA 11148 scales up the national and local health and nutrition programs through a strengthened integrated strategy for maternal, neo-natal child health and nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life.
Nograles said that as they were doing their job in Task Force Zero Hunger, they have realized that there is no institutionalized feeding program for the first 1,000 days.
“Meron po tayo sa DepEd, school-based feeding program, meron tayo sa DSWD para sa mga daycare center children, pero wala po tayo para sa children under two-years old and for pregnant women. ‘Yong institutionalized malawakan, kasing lawak noong ginagawa ng DepEd at ng DSWD. Itong ginagawa nating Tutok Kainan, ito na po yong umpisa ng ating hangarin, layunin na maging institutional program na rin po ito,” said Nograles as he challenged Negros Occidental, a pilot province for the implementation of the program, to show to the entire country that they are capable of making this a success.
“Kasi pag naging successful sa Negros Occidental mas palawakin pa natin ito and we will institutionalize this nationwide (If this becomes successful in Negros Occidental, we will expand this and we will institutionalize this nationwide),” said Nograles, who attended the online ceremonial activities organized by the NNC Region 6 to kick off the program’s implementation in Bacolod City and the province of Negros Occidental on April 6 and 7, respectively.
According to NNC-6, the province of Negros Occidental was chosen to be part of the program being a 1st priority Human Development and Poverty Reduction Cluster (HDPRC) area, Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition 2017-2022 priority area and in the top 30 provinces with highest adolescent birth rate.
Initially, the program targets 34,000 nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women in 12 provinces covering 254 cities and municipalities in the country. It is expected to expand its reach to stunted and wasted 6-23 months old children by 2021.
Pregnant women beneficiaries will receive food commodities composed of enhanced Nutri-Bun, ready-to-eat lipid-based nutritional supplement, and hot meals for 3 months or 90 days under the program. They will also receive daily text messages called Nutri-text to inform them of the benefits of the program and remind them to avail of government services.
NNC Executive Director Azucena Dayanghirang said stunting can be prevented if efforts are focused on the First 1,000 Days of life, or the period starting from conception up to the child’s second birthday.
She added that this is NNC’s response to the challenge posed by the COVID-19 pandemic to arrest the impending increase in the prevalence of hunger in the country.
“The progress of our nation depends on how mothers bring up their children. To break the vicious cycle of malnutrition, nutrition of women of reproductive age should be improved,” said Dayanghirang.
NNC-6 Nutrition Program Coordinator Reginaldo Guillen, local officials of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, respectively, and members of the Regional Nutrition Council and city and provincial nutrition councils of Bacolod and Negros Occidental also participated in the two events highlighted by the distribution of Enhanced Nutri-bun to selected nutritionally at-risk pregnant women. (JSC/laf/PIA6 Iloilo)