Barangay Nutrition Scholars convene in Baguio

Sep 3, 2017

BAGUIO CITY – The sharing of updated learnings, best practices and challenges of being Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) went on for hundreds of South Luzon cluster members, gathered here for the last leg of the fourth National Nutrition Council (NNC) assembly.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan who extended gratitude for having chosen Baguio as training venue, pointed out that BNSs are important partners in health and nutrition. He also delved on the influence that BNSs have over their families first, then the community; thus being in a vital position to effectively teach the basics of nutrition.
Assistant Secretary of Health and Executive Director of the National Nutrition Council Ma. Bernardita Flores gave her message in consonance with the theme, “BNS para sa Bayan, Nutrisyon at Serbisyo,” and based on the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022.
Flores emphasized on the importance of BNSs in the five-year plan, for the betterment of the nation’s health. Benefits such as additional transport allowances, medical assistance and survivorship are being worked out, she said.
Locating malnourished children in their respective communities should be done with the utmost effort, she urged the BNSs, as they may be in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas (GIDAs). “We are counting on you to bring them to related services,” and improve their delicate situation, Flores said.
As to data, there are cases of stunting, wasting, underweight and overweight, the prevalence different in ages; from below 5 years old, and 5 to 10 years old. There are also iodine and Vitamin A deficiencies, protein-energy malnutrition which altogether results to risks of infection and later generally health and social problems, low productivity and poverty.
The PPAN strives to address such, Flores said, during the Duterte administration. There is a need to prioritize health concerns, she added.
In a later forum, Flores noted the increase of response for nutrition and health flagship programs, attributed to media releases in radio, print and audiovisual. A study shall be launched in 2018 to confirm the linked relationship between the two, she said.
The Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) concept is a human resource development strategy for the training, deployment and support, and a linkage in the community to services needed for nutrition and health, it was known. Julie G. Fianza, PIO / ABN

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