Government Asked to Prioritize Nutrition

Manila Bulletin, November 20, 2012 | Go to article overview
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Government Asked to Prioritize Nutrition


MANILA, Philippines --- Two international cause-oriented groups asked the Philippine government to prioritize the reduction of child undernutrition as 25 out of the 1,000 children die before reaching the age of five from pneumonia, diarrhea and malnutrition or from lack of access to proper health care.

In a forum in Quezon City, the Save the Children and World Vision Development Foundation said that the Philippines showed weak commitment to child malnutrition programs.

However, they noted these programs still managed to produce a sound outcome which they attributed to the country's rapid economic growth.

The surprising sound outcome results may have hidden the existence of a huge gap or inequality among the children belonging to the poorest among the poor households, they said.

According to 2011 Philippine National Food Research Institute nutrition barometer records, about 20 percent or three million Filipino children ages 0-5 are underweight, 34 percent or four million are short for their age and seven percent or one million are wasted or thin.

The nutrition barometer indicates the strength of the country's commitment in addressing undernutrition and their nutrition status compared to other high-burden countries.

A study of the two international groups revealed that the Philippines has been bracketed in the list of 36 high-burden countries where 90 percent of the world's undernourished children live.

Of the 36 countries, Guatemala, Malawi, and Peru show the most progress by having the soundest commitment and sound child and survival outcomes while the Democratic Republic of Congo, India and Yemen show frail commitment and frail outcomes.

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