By Ameena Tara D. Manio
The Cagayan Provincial Child Development Center (PCDC) held the annual nutrition month celebration with the theme of “Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating wakasan” at the Kammaranan Hall, Capitol Hills, Tuguegarao City, on August 8, 2013.
Dr. Carlos D. Cortina Assistant Provincial Health Officer lauded the parents’ efforts on their continuing support for raising awareness on nutrition and ending hunger, starting from their very own respective families. He especially mentioned to the parents that our provincial government through PCDC will continuously remind them of the importance of providing nutritious foods to their children, especially during snacks, and this includes smart choices of healthy foods like fruits, which should be made readily available in every household.
Furthermore, Dr. Cortina said, it is also important for the parents to know the three causes of malnutrition. One cause of malnutrition is the lack of readily-available nutritious food on the table. The lack of proper nutrition causes undernutrition or malnourishment and micronutrient deficiency. Another cause is due to the presence of illnesses like heart ailments, or lung diseases. The early diagnosis of these diseases will help alleviate its effects on an individual. The lack of “tamang pag-aaruga” or tender loving care from the parents or family also cause malnutrition. Obesity or being overweight is also an indication of the lack of care. Children become overweight or obese because of the lack of daily activities such as exercise, outdoor activities (paglalaro) and discipline. All these are needed by every child to healthier and become holistic individuals. Children should always listen and follow their parents as part of the “tamang pag-aaruga,” Dr. Cortina said.
Still according to Dr. Cortina, it is also noteworthy that our province has a very low incidence of malnutrition at the provincial level, where only 5% is reported malnourished among 5,000 Cagayano children 0-5 years old, based from the latest statistics of our Provincial Health Office. “We still need to continue monitoring the health status of our townspeople and let us help each other and continue our fight against hunger and malnutrition,” Cortina said.
Meanwhile, the celebration was well-participated by the students and parents through poem delivery by four daycare students, and a jingle contest by three groups of parents. Winners were awarded by Dr. Cortina as the chairman of the board of judges.
The program culminated with a ‘salo-salo’ of nutritious foods and delicacies provided for all participants by the PCDC parents’ committee, with the cooperation of the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office – Children’s Welfare Division.