Cotabato City (May 6, 2019) – To institutionalize the fight against hunger and malnutrition, the Bangsamoro government through its Ministry of Health has launched the regional office of the National Nutrition Council that will formulate relevant nutrition policies and guidelines in the region.
An agreement for the establishment of the nutrition council in the region was signed between the health ministry and National Nutrition Council on Monday morning, May 6.
The nutrition council aims to help alleviate malnutrition and hunger as well as improve the nutrition situation in the Bangsamoro region.
Dr. Azucena Dayanghirang, NNC executive director, said that “good nutrition is peace, many people overlook the importance of nutrition and its role in nation building. Let us work together to improve nutrition outcomes in the region.”
In the data released by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), which regularly conducts the national nutrition survey, children in the region continue to suffer from chronic malnutrition with 45.2% rate in 2015.
Among the nutrition problems that need to be addressed are the high levels of stunting. The region has the highest prevalence which increased from 42.6% in 2013 to 44.9% in 2015.
Abdullah Cusain, assistant executive secretary who represented the Chief Minister Murad Ebrahim, said that the Bangsamoro government remains committed to support all the stakeholders in reducing malnutrition among children in the region.
“We in the Bangsamoro government must have collective effort to help parents provide adequate nutrition, safe environment, and deliver nutrition-specific interventions.”
He said that addressing nutritional challenges and focusing on the welfare and health of every citizen in the Bangsamoro are some of the priority focus of this administration.
Dr. Saffrullah Dipatuan, minister of health, said that the government must have to be serious in addressing the nutrition problems in the region.
He emphasized that the other concerned agencies must produce more inexpensive but nutritious foods, and local government units must cooperate to provide effective partnership and resources on the ground.