Stunting among Pinoy kids worsened during pandemic--NNC exec

7/2/2021 12:45:00 AM

Stunting among Pinoy kids worsened during pandemic–NNC exec

The incidence of stunting among Filipino children had been showing improvements–until the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic happened in 2020 and messed everything up.Children line up during a feeding program initiated by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Ormoc City, Leyte on May 27, 2021. (Photo courtesy of the PCG)

National Nutrition Council (NNC) Executive Director Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang explained in a televised briefing Thursday, July 1 that the incidence of stunting reached as high as 30 percent at the height of the coronavirus pandemic last year. She said the pre-pandemic figure was 28.8 percent.

“Actually malaki po ang pagtaas ng mga bata sa stunting. Sana naging 28.8 percent na lang tayo pero after ng COVID-19 based on the survey ay tumaas ulit ng 30 percent (There’s actually a huge increase in stunting among children. It was supposed to be just 28.8 percent, but after the pandemic struck, it rose again to 30 percent based on the survey),” Dayanghirang said.

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The NNC executive director noted that the country was already doing good in handling its nutrition goals, including the management of underweight and stunting cases. However, the public health crisis emerged, leading to impaired growth and development of about 3.4 million children under five years old, she said.

“Ang nakikita nating dahilan sa malnutrition ay ang kakulangan pa rin sa sapat na pagkain ng pamilya, maling behaviors din ng pamilya tulad ng hindi pag-serve ng sanitation and hygiene, and kulang sa kaalaman sa tamang pagpapakain ng bata at hindi pagkain ng balanse (The causes of malnutrition that we are seeing are the lack of food supply for the family, the wrong behaviors of families like not observing proper sanitation and hygiene, and the lack of knowledge on the right and balanced diet for children),” Dayanghirang said.

“So, kailangan din kasi maabot at least 90 percent sa ating mga target na pamilya ng mga kritikal na serbisyo sa health and nutrition para mas mabilis ang pagbaba ng malnutrition (So, we need to reach at least 90 percent of our target families in terms of our critical health and nutrition services in order to promptly reduce malnutrition),” she added.

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The NNC expects more families to experience hunger as the pandemic persists.

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