FLORA, Apayao – Apayao PLGU takes a different approach in helping combat malnutrition in children with the distribution of ducks as supplement to their nutritional needs.
75 undernourished children in Flora ages 5 and under were given 5 ducks each on September 12 at Flora Gymnasium.
The activity is a collaboration between the Provincial Health Office (PHO) and the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVET), as well as the Provincial Office for Agriculture Services (OAS) and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO). It is aligned with the Provincial Nutrition Program, which aims to eliminate malnutrition among children aged 5 and under.
Provincial Health Officer Mark Joleen M. Calban, in an interview, said that the municipality of Flora has the highest malnutrition rate this year, accounting for 22.25% of the total population of these children.
4.58% are underweight, 0.16% are wasted (meaning a child who is too thin for his or her height as a result of recent rapid weight loss or failure to gain weight), 13.82% stunted (a child who is too short for his or her height), and 3.69% are overweight.
Given the prevalence of malnutrition, when queried about the logic to supply ducks instead of ready-made food, Calban assured the program’s efficacy and relevance in meeting the nutritional needs of children.
Calban guaranteed that this program is a promising and sustainable solution to malnutrition through dietary supplementation, livelihood program strategy, information education, and communication strategies to beneficiaries.
“Ducks kasi is one protein source for malnourished children. They can also lay eggs, which contain protein. A source of income could also help these people achieve food security, to make it more sustainable,” he explained.
Furthermore, the program was supported by the Provincial Governor’s Office through its Nutrition Fund and will be replicated in other Apayao towns in the coming days. By Jomela Dela Torre