Alejandro said the Provincial Health Office (PHO) is now working with the province’s municipalities together with stakeholders like the “Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF), Zero Extreme Poverty, Mahintana Foundation, and Hapag-Asa towards that goal to be achieved.” Recently, ZFF trained the technical personnel from different provincial offices and some of the board members on leadership and governance on nutrition.
Alejandro said this is also in response to the flagship program of Governor Rogelio “Ruel” Pacquiao on health and nutrition.
In the inaugural speech of Gov. Pacquiao, he identified “nutrition and integrated and sustainable food security” as among the focuses under his Ronda Probinsya flagship program.
Alejandro said focusing interventions on food security will address the “poverty level of (our) families, of (our) malnourished children and, of course, the poorest of the poor because dito kasi nanggagaling itong mga malnourished natin.”
In 2015, Sarangani was tagged as third in the whole country in stunting with 25 out of 100 malnourished children, he said.
By the end of 2021, Sarangani was already out of the top 10 in Region 12.
From January 1 to May 15 this year, Dr. Alejandro said the figures on malnutrition has lowered to 4,200 children aged zero to five months from the 5,226 babies in 2021 where, he pointed out, “pinakamarami pa din ang stunting out of these.”
As the World Health Organization defines, stunting is “low height-for-age. It is the result of chronic or recurrent undernutrition, usually associated with poverty, poor maternal health and nutrition, frequent illness and/or inappropriate feeding and care in early life. Stunting prevents children from reaching their physical and cognitive potential.” (Beverly C. Paoyon/SARANGANI PROVINCIAL INFORMATION OFFICE)
Joana Grace Banting-Lapore