The Department of Health (DOH) alongside UN agencies, agree to creating solutions to malnutrition. Photo courtesy of Manila Bulletin.
The Department of Health (DOH), United Nations (UN) with its agencies UNICEF and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), and the World Bank formalized an agreement on Monday, November 13 which aims to combat malnutrition and improve the provision of primary healthcare and nutrition services in the Philippines.
"Improving the nutritional status of children is crucial for achieving the country's goals of enhancing human capital, strengthening economic recovery, and fostering long-term growth," stated Ndiame Diop, country director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand at the World Bank.
The project intends to reduce stunting or malnutrition in 40 municipalities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, and 235 local government units in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao through the implementation of nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions.
DOH affirms the partnership’s provision shall include the dispense of equipment and supplies, developing information systems for localized decision-making, capacity building for healthcare workers, and governance initiatives at the local level, among other strategies.
The healthcare agency further states the project is aligned with the principles of Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan- Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services (KALAHI-CIDSS) program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in enhancing access to clean water, proper sanitation, improved hygiene practices, and early childhood care and development services.
According to UNICEF, 95 Filipino children suffer from malnutrition per day and out of every 1,000 Filipino children, twenty-seven do not make it to their fifth age.
The UNICEF Representative for the Philippines, Oyunsaikhan Dendevnorov, states that enhancing community access to vital services and fortifying national and local systems "can help children not only survive but thrive."