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LDS Nutrition Summit 2016: The Cradle of Good Nutrition

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur – More than a hundred participants from different non-government organizations, municipal government, UN agencies, and other nutrition stakeholders of the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur recently attended a two-day nutrition summit at the Provincial Capitol Social Hall, Marawi City.

With the theme “Governing the First 1,000 days of a Child: The Cradle of Good Nutrition,” the summit provided a venue for a more diverse perspective on nutrition and how to address the complex causes of malnutrition in the province. The activity is part of the initiative of the provincial government to address the high malnutrition of the province with support from Health Organization Mindanao (HoM), Save the Children, UNICEF, Mindanao Health, Department of Education and the World Food Programme (WFP).

According to the National Nutrition Survey 2015 Lanao del Sur is the 4th highest among the provinces in the Philippines with high stunting prevalence which is 49% compared to the national rate of 33.4%.

“We are very appreciative of the commitment and support from the different stakeholders especially to WFP, UNICEF, Save the Children, Health Organization for Mindanao (HoM), and Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO). This is really a success for the province for gathering these people which I think is the biggest attendance that we had for the nutrition summit we’ve conducted,’” said Provincial Public Information Officer Salma Jane Alonto Adiong. “We are highlighting the need for action for nutrition here in the province. Governor Soraya Adiong already informed the IPHO should submit the Provincial Nutrition Action Plan so that it will be included and prioritized in the Executive Legislative Agenda.

The nutrition summit focused on the “first 1,000 days,” the critical window of opportunity for good nutrition from pregnancy until two years of age. The participants were informed about the concept so they can advocate and prioritize in their organization’s agenda as well as solicit support from UN agencies, non-government organizations, and the private sector to set up their nutrition projects.

In the summit, WFP also turned over 85 height boards to the Provincial Government of Lanao del Sur to assist its nutrition practitioners in monitoring the height of children to prevent stunting.

“Prevention is a lot cheaper compared to treating malnutrition, that’s why we have gathered here all the nutrition stakeholders to discuss, plan, address and implement programs and activities to address the nutrition issues of Lanao del Sur,” shared WFP’s Nutrition Officer, Dr. Martin Parreño.

Addressing the nutrition summit participants, IPHO’s Dr. Alinader D. Minalang said, “In order to move forward from this summit we need to act on NUTRITION, which for us at the province means: Networking, Unity of our Purpose, Teamwork, Resource Mobilization, Innovation, Timeliness, Integration, One Thousand Days Focus, and Nutrition Council Committee. I know this is a gargantuan task but I encourage you to have a solid plan of action when you get back.” (IPHO-LDS)

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