By Minerva Newman
CEBU CITY — The National Nutrition Council (NNC)-Central Visayas Nutrition Cluster feared for the worst health and nutritional scenario in the region as resources, like healthy food, have run low, and suspended livelihood opportunities, especially among the marginal and vulnerable sectors in the community, are now on its third week of lockdown.
“We don’t want to make the vulnerable groups even more vulnerable by adding in the factor of malnutrition as the cluster talked about possibilities of acute food and nutrition insecurity in the coming weeks,” said NNC-7 Director Parolita Mission.
Mission called on all the local government units (LGUs) in the region to activate their respective local nutrition clusters which will provide nutrition in emergency service packages and prioritize susceptible populations.
She reminded the LGUs for the local nutrition cluster to follow some guidelines and advisories to prevent deterioration of nutrition status of children below five years of age, pregnant and lactating women and other at-risk individuals.
“In a nutshell, the nutrition clusters must the following advisories,” Mission said.
· Ensure that households are still able to eat healthy by including fresh produce in food packs.
· Be vigilant in monitoring and implementing EO 51 or the milk code which does not allow the donation of breast milk substitute of any kind.
· Continued services for Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition and the provision of micronutrient supplementation.
· Coordination with the agriculture sector to not only provide healthy food to the community but give farmers and fisherfolks with income during the quarantine period.
Mission noted that malnutrition can cause higher susceptibility to disease and infection including COVID-19 thus, the NNC-7 continues to promote a healthy lifestyle in times of quarantine.
With the help of local nutrition clusters, the region hopes to contain the disease as soon as possible, she added.