Naga: a consistently champ in child nutrition
By Keren Anne Bernadas
CITY Administrator Elmer Baldemoro on Wednesday lauded various actions and programs of the city government after attaining decreasing malnutrition rates in the past three years.
According to the nutritional status report released by the City Population and Nutrition Office (CPNO) as of this month, there were 22, 428 weighed kids age 11 months old to 4 years old from 24, 548 estimated number of children in the city.
This year, a total of 109 are recorded to be underweight. This amounts to only 0.51 percent from 299 children or 1.33 percent of the total evaluated kids in 2021.
A sum of 134 children in 2023 are still stunted (having a low height for age) against the previous 409 children in 2021.
Relatively, 13 children are severely wasted (having a low weight-to-height ratio) as reported this year from 26 in 2021.
During the medical caravan for children held Wednesday, Baldemoro, also the executive director of the Children’s Affairs Office, said that the city government continues to strengthen health services for the children, and sets line of activities for them this month alongside the celebration of the National Children’s Month.
Photo from Jam Madrid of PIA Cam Sur
The said caravan held at the city hall ground offered free dental check-up and consultation, and flouridization, as well as nutritional assessment.
Nutrition coordinator Alvin Villacruz of the CPNO said that since the implementation of the ordinance called First 1000 Days in 2022, it has become an utmost priority for the city government to instill health consciousness among children and women particularly on the first day of pregnancy among mothers.
Furthermore, Councilor Omar Buenafe who is also the committee head head on children, said that the city council aims to sustain the performance and policy-making of various nutrition programs for the benefits of the children.
“Dahil ang pagiging bata ay isang yugto lang sa ating buhay na hindi na pwedeng balikan. Ang magandang paglaki ng kabataan ay nagiging pundasyon ng kaniyang pagiging matalino, malusog magalang at matulungin sa kaniyang bayang sinilangan (Being a child happens once in a lifetime of a person, and it cannot come back anymore. A good nutrition among children serves as a good foundation among them to become intelligent, healthy, respectful and generous to give back to the place where they come from), Buenafe said.
John Paul Cejero, 31-year-old parent from Brgy. Concepcion Grande extended his gratitude to the city government for the free services. He said he does not have to bring his three children age 7 years old, 3 years old and 7 months old who are currently experiencing colds and fever to far hospitals and pay expenses. Instead, he said, he can spend their money in other important expenditures in their family.
Other city agencies such as the City Health Office and Naga City Hospital also participated in the said caravan. (PIA 5/Camarines Sur)