With the theme “Malnutrisyon patuloy na labanan, First 1000 days tutukan!” for this year’s National Nutrition Month, the Commission on Population and Development, in collaboration with the National Nutrition Council, sets out to end infant malnutrition by preventing early child bearing through an information campaign and seminars targeted at the youth sector who are considered child bearers.

Last July 21, NNC Caraga launched its hybrid Nutrition Symposium on Nutrition Month with participants from the Department of Health, POPCOM and Local Sangguniang Kabataan Officials.

POPCOM Caraga Regional Director Alexander A. Makinano highlights the connection between population and health factors. Director Makinano further emphasized the need of expanding Family Planning services in order to address and fix the shortage of health care services that endanger mothers and their children.

Director Makinano also emphasizes the significance of the recently signed Executive Order No. 141 in addressing the root cause of teen pregnancies by directing the Sangguniang Kabataan and other concerned agencies to eradicate and limit the spike in teen pregnancies that result in malnutrition and risk to the mother and her baby.

Dr. Cesar C. Cassion, Regional Director of DOH-CHD in Caraga, emphasizes the significance of National Nutrition Month as a reminder to all Filipinos of the need of proper nutrition and well-being.

Director Cassion also calls on concerned agencies to implement well-coordinated strategies for preventing wasting and stunting and encourages pregnant mothers to schedule routine prenatal and postnatal visits at the nearest rural health units and main health centers to address their needs and prevent their babies’ malnutrition and health risks.

Ms. Retsebeth M. Laquihon, OIC Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of NNC Caraga, assures the public, particularly the youth sector, that the agency will continue to offer all kinds of support and assistance in scaling up activity on infant and maternal nutrition.

Ms. Laquihon also requested cooperation from all Regional Line Agencies and Sangguniang Kabataan in extending the agency’s work to fight malnutrition by providing information, education, and communication materials to areas prone to malnutrition and with less chances to balance needs.

July’s Nutrition Month emphasizes the significance of sustaining nutrition initiatives to combat malnutrition by emphasizing the importance of the First 1000 Days of Life and the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition as a framework for action to combat malnutrition. The First 1000 Days are internationally regarded as the “golden window of opportunity” for nutrition and associated treatments to positively influence a child’s physical and mental development.