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POOR NUTRITIONAL STATUS AMONG CHILDREN AGES 0-59 MONTHS

Malnutrition refers to a pathological condition that may result from an inefficient or excess of one or several essential nutrients. It is one of the major health problems in the public and in vast areas of the world, in the present. This condition may exist in the following forms: undernutrition, specific nutrient deficiency, and over nutrition. It may be crucial to the holistic growth and development of an individual especially to children aging from 0 to 59 months.

GENERAL OBJECTIVE

To decrease the number of malnourished children ages 0-59 months from 16% to 0% in Barangay Manguiles, Zamboanga del Sur by the end of year 2020.

CUES

UPDATES EVERY EXPOSURE

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Specific Objective 1

To increase the awareness of the community on malnutrition

Activities

  1. Conducted a meeting with the barangay officials and presented survey results
    • Tapped key persons for strategies and suggestions
  2. Conducted a general assembly and presented the survey results
  3. Discussed the formulation of the community health plan: “Himsug nga Bata Para sa Magmalampusong Manguiles
  4. Conducted a meeting and open forum with the Barangay Nutrition Scholar, parents and teachers of Upper Manguiles Elementary School
  5. Formed a core group: MamaManguiles led by the BNS

Specific Objective 2

To empower MamaManguiles on ways of eradication and prevention of malnutrition

Activities

  1. Conducted team building and oath taking ceremony of MamaManguiles
    • Tapped key persons for strategies and suggestions
    • Assessment of existing skills on weight and height taking
    • Assessment of basic knowledge on Pinggang Pinoy
  2. Conducted core group training in coordination with the Municipal Nutrition Action Officer (MNAO):
    • Proper anthropometric measurement taking
    • Nutritional status interpretation of children ages 0-59 months

Specific Objective 3

To reinforce existing practices and knowledge in the barangay that promote proper nutrition and prevent malnutrition

Activities

  1. Assessed the knowledge of UMES students on Pinggang Pinoy (Go, Grow and Glow) through an interactive game
  2. Conducted four sessions of mothers’ class on the following topics:
    • Ang ABK sa Nutrisyon adapted from DOST-Pinoy
    • Ang Susi sa Iyong Kalusugan adapted from DOST-Pinoy
    • 10 Kumainments adapted from National Nutrition Council
    • First 1000 Days of Life conducted by the Mahayag RHU nurse

Specific Objective 4

To improve the nutritional status of the malnourished children

Activities

  1. Reassessed the weight through survey and identified the nutritional status of children aged 0 to 59 months
  2. Proposed a 30-day Dietary Supplementation Program to the Barangay Council
    • Requested budget allocation for the said program
  3. Implemented a 30-Day Dietary Supplementation Program
    • Introduction of a 10-Day Cycle Menu adapted and modified from the recipes of Department of Science and Technology – Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI)
  4. Conducted a cooking demonstration to the mothers on the 10 compiled nutritious and economical recipes
  5. Resurveyed households monthly for updated and newly identified malnourished children
    • Distributed monitoring booklets
    • Updated masterlist of children
  6. Conducted focused-group discussion with the mothers on failure to gain enough weight and listed suggestions for improvement
  7. Collaborated with the Department of Agriculture Region – IX for the proposed program on vegetable backyard gardening
    • Submitted letter for the procurement of seeds and seedlings

Specific Objective 5

To establish sustainability of the programs implemented on malnutrition

Activities

  1. Created a resolution mandating each household to have a backyard vegetable garden for each purok

EVALUATION

The figure bellow follows the course of nutritional status among ages 0-59 months from January 2018 to November 2019. The group identified 23 underweight children and over the years this number was noted to decrease due to the existing feeding program at the day care center.

By the implementation of the 30-Day Dietary Supplementation Program, there were 10 identified underweight children; 4 of them categoried as severely underweight and the rest, moderately underweight. 3 out of the 4 severly underweight were currently enrolled in the day care center hence, only 7 children were enrolled into the 30-Day Dietary Supplementation Program. This was conducted from November 16 to December 15, 2019.

The following figure illustrates the outcome of each child after the 30-day program. As illustrated, children A, B and D have improved from underweight to normal weight-for-age post-30-Day Dietary Supplementation Program. Meanwhile, Children C, and E had steadied at underweight category but had gained an average of 0.6 kg. Notably, Child F had decreased 0.2 kg; attributed due to (1) incomplete attendance, and (2) decrease food intake at home, since meals at the program were regarded as one of the main meals of the day. Child G was categorized as severely underweight and had gained 0.8 kg, making his weight normal for his age.

The table below shows the monitoring and evaluation of the children enrolled in the 30-day supplementation program. This revealed that four had remained underweight, two became underweight from having normal weight for age the previous month, and one child remained normal.

The failure in maintaining the weight gain was attributed to lack of financial capability to provide the needed nutrients of the children, as verbalized by most mothers on a focused-group discussion (FGD) last January 2020. The FGD provided them suggested solutions such as livelihood programs, but commitment was in question and that being a full-time mother made them hesitant for approval. However, backyard vegetable gardening was favored by all mothers.

This was brought to the attention of the barangay council and it was agreed that as a means of combating malnutrition, it was important that each household was to have their own backyard vegetable garden. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this was not seen through.


Throughout the four-year long immersion, the residents along with the team were able to decrease the trend of malnutrition rate at Barangay Manguiles. Unfortunately, the general objective to achieve 0% malnourished children was not met.

Numerous factors like the lack of sufficient resources of the households to provide for their children’s necessities, the lack of motivation of mothers to continue feeding the child nutritious foods after the program, and the coronavirus pandemic that prevented the team from going back to the community to implement the remaining activities of the community health plan were among the factors that hindered the community health plan from being successful.

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