SAN EMILIO, Ilocos Sur

Department of Health – Ilocos Region yesterday started its distribution of Nutribox packages for pregnant women. “The nutribox is a diet supplementation package for the First 1000 Days program for pregnant women to prevent the prevalence of low-birth weight prevalence in the region,
especially those living in remote communities and Geographically Isolated and Disadvantage Areas (GIDAs),” Paula Paz M. Sydiongco stated in her message during the launching program held at the
municipal covered court of San Emilio, Ilocos Sur.

Sydiongco added that 38 pregnant women were given Pampanga and Zambales have been chosen as the initial recipients of the nutribox program. “Ang nutribox program ay magbibigay ng
karagdagang pangangailangang mga bitamina upang ma- improve ang nutritional status ng
selected nutritionally-at-risk pregnant women para maiwasan ang pagkakaroon ng baby nila ng low birth weight and iba pang birth defects,” Sydiongco explained.

According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), poor diets
lacking in key nutrients – like iodine, iron, folate, calcium and zinc – can cause anemia, pre-eclampsia, hemorrhage and death in mothers during their pregnancy. It can also lead to stillbirth, low birthweight, wasting and developmental delays for children. Ms. Jovita Leny S. Calaguas, Ilocos Regional Nutritionist and Dietician said that the first 1,000 days covering a woman’s pregnancy period up to the first two years of the child’s life, must be well taken care of. “Every opportunity and essential interventions that will provide a positive impact on the child’s development must be given.”

“It is important that we intervene, even before a child is born, we have to provide the mother the
essential nutrients she needs for her baby to become healthy.” The Nutribox package contains 10 kgs iron-fortified rice, texturized vegetable protein, dehydrated vegetables, iodized salt and margarin. A total of 38 beneficies from the town of San Emilio were given nutribox packages. Only identified GIDAs will be prioritized for the Nutribox distribution. Among the cities and municipalities in the Ilocos Region, Dagupan City recorded the highest number of total live births in 2021 with 8,461 births. San Carlos City, Pangasinan followed with 7,125 births; City of Urdaneta, Pangasinan with 5,753 births; City of San Fernando, La Union with 4,866 births; and City of Alaminos, Pangasinan with 4,014 births.

Glen Ramos


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