COTABATO CITY — In line with the celebration of 48th National Nutrition Month, the region’s National Nutrition Council (NNC-BARMM) kicked off its celebration on Monday, July 4, 2022 at Bangsamoro Government Center in this city.
This year’s celebration carries the theme, “New Normal na Nutrisyon, Sama-samang Gawan ng Solusyon!”.
According to NNC-BARMM Regional Director Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, Jr., the celebration aims to encourage different stakeholders to build back better nutrition interventions and to engage various sectors to support nutrition in the region.
“The celebration also served as a campaign venue for eradicating hunger and nutrition, preventing and managing non-communicable diseases, stimulate discussion of stakeholders on scaling up nutrition interventions to promote, and improve future nutrition in the region,” Dr. Sinolinding said.
“What we want is to have a future smarter, brighter, and healthier Bangsamoro in the region,” he added.
Meanwhile, Cotabato City Mayor Mohammad Ali Matabalao assured that he will fully support all forms of nutrition programs in the BARMM, saying that he “will provide an office for nutrition and focal person in the city.”
Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, National Nutrition Council assistant secretary and executive director mentioned 5 key messages that carry this year’s celebration of nutrition month to call for action:
1. To all Filipinos to promote proper nutrition
2. Promote and adopt health-enhancing nutrition behaviors;
3. Continued solidarity to support food and nutrition security, especially for the most vulnerable;
4. Expand multi-sectoral engagement to scale up nutrition intervention; and
5. Strengthen leadership and governance in nutrition across all levels of the government.
Dr. Dayanghirang said that the pandemic hampers the efforts to improve nutrition and that stunting and wasting increased, particularly in the region.
“To be able to bounce back from this pandemic, we need to be resilient. [And] for the Filipinos to be resilient, it requires that they have proper nutrition,” Dayanghirang added.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim encouraged everyone to participate and support the nutrition advocacy with a high hope that this launching would be the start of the nutrition journey in the region.
“The theme in today’s celebration reflects the importance of working together to create better policies and programs that can be of help to the respective nutritional needs and overall individual’s welfare,” Chief Minister Ebrahim said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has told us that we must not overlook our health and nutrition and to make sure that everyone is guided by the right knowledge in the process,” Chief Minister said, adding that for the next 30 days, several offices in the region will introduce programs and initiatives that can aid us in achieving better nutrition.
Key officials from different ministries and offices in the Bangsamoro government expressed their full support for the regional nutrition programs and promised to make plans, policies, and actions in fighting against any forms of challenges such as hunger, food shortages, and malnutrition, particularly among vulnerable people in the region.
Monday’s event was participated by different sectors of the society including youth, private sector, academe, civil society organizations, and development partners such as the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (UN-FAO). (Kasan M. Usop, Jr./BIO)