NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
Bohol, said to be first class province, is still facing severe malnutrition, according to the social services committee report by Board Member Lucille Lagunay as adopted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan during its session presided over by Vice-Gov. Rene Relampagos on February 16, 2021.
“Bohol continues to face problems of undernutrition such as stunting, wasting and specific micronutrient deficiencies that seriously affect children and mothers,” the report reads.
“Wasting” is defined by World Health Organization as “slow weight for height. It often indicates recent severe weight loss. It can also persist for a long time for lack of food adequate in quality and quantity.”
“Stunting” is an “impaired growth and development that children experience from poor nutrition, repeated infection and inadequate psycho-social stimulation.”
The committee report said that causes of malnutrition includes poverty, lack of knowledge and access to adequate diets, poor infant and young child caring and feeding practices.
Aggressive marketing and sales of unhealthy foods and drinks contribute to undernutrition, obesity/overweight, it added.
Among the findings of the committee report are the following:
*Bohol has the highest (@39.1%) prevalence of stunting among the children less than 5 years old in region 7, or some 53,955 kids. This was significantly higher than the national and regional prevalence (33.4% and 37% respectively). Among the same age group, 8.5% or 11.729% were wasted and 7.5% or 2,898 were overweight.
*The prevalence rates of 35.6% were found to be underweight; 34.7% were stunted among 5-10 years old still higher than the national and regional prevalence rates.
*The prevalence rates of 38% were found to be stunted and 12.5% were wasted among the children aged 10-19. Thd stunting prevalence rate of 45.5% is above the WHO-CGS cut-off point of 40% and is considered very high.
*The study showed that 1.5% of children under 5 years old are obese/Overweight; 2.2% among the 5-10year old; and 2.9% among 10-19 years old adolescents; and 25.7% among adults 20 years old and above.
*There’s a slow decrease of prevalence rates of underweight and severely underweight children less than 5 years old from 3.2% in 2019 to 3.1% in 2020, the report said. A slight decrease of stunted and severely stunted from 9.3% in 2019 to 9.0% in 2020. The 2019 Electric Operation Timbang (eOPT) Plus also showed that wasting from 1.6% in 2019 to 1.2% in 2020; Obesity and overweight children — from 2.1% to 1.9% in the same period.
This prompted the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to adopt the Lagunay’s joint committee (including agriculture) report and passed Resolution adopting the Three-Year Provincial Nutrition Action Plan 2020-2022 of Bohol.
The committee report was signed by social services committee chair Lagunay, vice-chair Restituto Auxtero, committee members Jone Jade Bautista, Aldner Damalerio and agriculture committee chair Ricky Masamayor.
The following towns in Bohol (photo below) shows how they fared in “wasting” and severely wasting” cases among the children. (rvo)