NNC trains stakeholders on nutrition during emergencies

Health • Tue Jul 4, 2017 03:32 PM  •  120   0
By Edwin O. Fernandez
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GEN. SANTOS CITY – Nutrition stakeholders and disaster officials in Region 12 are now equipped with knowledge and understanding on nutrition during emergencies.  

And local government units across the SOCCSKSARGEN region are in the process of creating their respective Nutrition Clusters which will work during emergencies, both man-made and natural.  

Arceli M. Latonio, Nutrition program coordinator of the National Nutrition Council-12, said the latest of the series of training on Nutrition Emergencies intended for local government units was conducted in Sun City Suites last June 27.  

Attended by 19 participants from Banga, Tampakan, Norala, Tboli, Isulan, Kiamba, Malapatan, Glan, Magpet, President Roxas, Makilala, Kidapawan City and Sarangani was aimed at capacitating the nutrition program managers and nutrition cluster members working in emergencies on the same level of knowledge and understanding on nutrition in emergencies.  

Latonio said through this, it will enable them to address the vulnerabilities of multi-hazards situations.  

The training, Latonio said, also aimed at building individual knowledge and skills while building a sense of teamwork and collaboration.  

Participation of experts, Emil T. Sumagaysay-Civil Defense Officer of Tupi, South Cotabato, Maria Ana D. Uy-Provincial Nutrition Action Officer of South Cotabato province, Karen D. Lagaña- Universal Health Care Implementer-Antipas Cotabato Province and Kristine Angeli Gimongala- Freelance Consultant.  

Latonio said the training helped them understand the importance as well as the roles and functions of Nutrition during emergencies and/or disasters.  

As output, representatives of each LGU drafted a “Preparedness, Response and Recovery Plan on Nutrition in Emergencies.” 

This plan will be referred to the LGUs Nutrition Committee for finalization.
 

Aside from nutrition action officers, the trainees included LGUs disaster risk reduction management officers and nutrition committee members.  

Across the globe, the World Health Organizations (WHO) said hunger and malnutrition are rampant among refugees and displaced populations, representing currently around 40 million people worldwide, many of whom – infants, children, adolescents, adults and older people – suffer from one or more of the multiple forms of malnutrition.  

It also said that besides wasting, deficiencies of iodine, vitamin A and iron are common in emergency-affected populations.  

In addition, scurvy, pellagra and beriberi frequently occur in populations entirely dependent on food aid.  

The levels of risk of malnutrition in emergencies depend on factors such as the degree of civil security, food availability and accessibility, access to health services, and adequacy of assistance delivery.  

In Marawi City, the Department of Health and National Nutrition Council are in the forefront in ensuring infants are fed with mothers’ milk and not with formula milk to increase children’s immunity in a surrounding highly vulnerable to water and air borne diseases. (Edwin O. Fernandez) 
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