BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office of the National Nutrition Council (NNC-CAR) disclosed the region was already able to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (UN-MDG) specifically on the reduction by half of the malnutrition rate from that of the 1990 level.
Rita D. Papey, NNC-CAR regional nutrition coordinator, revealed the malnutrition rate in the region based on the 1990 level was 16.6 percent and what the MDG provided was for concerned government agencies to reduce the said rate by half by 2015.
From 1990 to 2008, the Cordillera was able to reduce the malnutrition rate among children from 16.6 percent to 5.95 percent, thus, it was used as the basis for the region to supposedly have a malnutrition rate of 2.98 percent by the end of 2015.
“If we will be using the 1990 level as a basis of the reduction of malnutrition in the region, the 4.46 percent average shows that the Cordillera was already able to achieve the MDG of reducing by half the prevalence of malnutrition. If we will be using the revised goal of 2.98 percent malnutrition rate, we have to admit that we will not be able to achieve the same since our projected figure for 2015 is 3.668 percent,” Papey stressed.
Based on the 2014 data obtained by the NNC-CAR, Abra and Apayao had the highest prevalence of malnutrition in the region with 11.9 percent and 9.02 percent, respectively followed by Kalinga with 6.81 percent; Mountain Province – 4.18 percent; Tabuk City – 3.02 percent; Ifugao – 2.36 percent; Benguet – 1.76 percent and Baguio City with 1.48 percent.
Of the 77 municipalities comprising the Cordillera, Papey revealed there were eighteen municipalities, all of which are located in Abra and Apayao, have recorded prevalence of malnutrition that are above 10 percent while twenty four municipalities were able to register the prevalence of malnutrition with underweight prevalence which is more than the regional average but below 10 percent.
On the other hand, thirty three municipalities regionwide were found to have underweight prevalence equal to or better than the regional average of 4.46 percent.
Papey said the NNC-CAR, in coordination with concerned government agencies and local governments, will continue to advocate for good nutrition and healthy lifestyle, especially in areas that have very high prevalence of underweight and malnutrition in order to contribute to efforts in reducing the malnutrition rate in the region to make it much better and realize the MDG in the future.
Because the NNC-CAR is a coordinating agency, the NNC-CAR official added that it is their mandate to continuously advocate for the effective and efficient implementation of appropriate interventions that would contribute in significantly reducing the prevalence of malnutrition in the countryside.
According to her, children having good nutrition while they are still growing would guarantee that they will have better health and that they will be able to become productive citizens in the future considering that they will be able to focus their attention to activities that would contribute to improving their lives instead of always looking after their health.
By Dexter A. See