MISAMIS ORIENTAL, Aug. 9, (PIA) - The National Nutrition Council (NNC) - 10 holds its Nutrition Month A webinar entitled "Safeguarding Nutritional Opportunities of the First 1,000 Days" has been conducted by the National Nutrition Council (NNC)-10 in support of its campaign for proper nutrition of infants in Northern Mindanao while ensuring health safety protocols amid COVID-19.
"If there are no appropriate interventions, this pandemic can have severe consequences on poor and malnourished children. It puts them on a high risk of death, poor growth development, and learning. Poor nutrition on the first 1,000 days in a child's life can lead to stunted growth which is associated with impaired cognitive activity and reduced life performance," NNC-10 Nutrition Program Coordinator Gladys Fernandez said in her opening statement.
With COVID-19 adversely affecting low to middle-income households in the country due to the disruption in production, transportation, and sale of nutritious, fresh, affordable food, forcing the families to resort to nutrient-poor food, NNC-10 and its partner agencies embarks on a unified approach to address the problem.
The NNC explained that the long term effects of malnutrition would would hamper health and nutrition services as well as social protection program of the government.
"If no action is taken, the effects of the current COVID-19 pandemic will only make it hard for vulnerable population to protect themselves from malnutrition," Dr. Martin R. Parreno, National Program Officer of the UN-World Food Programme pointed out.
In response to the challenges, the council has planned out its actions and innovations like prioritizing poor pregnant women in the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), establishing teleconsultation, and the promotion of diet diversity in the region's communities and local government units (LGUs) as a means to expand social protection in ensuring access to nutritious diets and essential services.
"We need to ensure that the recommendation of the global nutrition report be implemented by the LGUs [and the government]. It is our responsibility to ensure that nutritious food should be available to the people," DOH-10 Family Cluster Dr. Elma C. Oclarit said.