Malnutrition is the pathological condition from an inefficient or excess that may be relative or absolute of one or several essential nutrients. It is one of the major health problems in the public in vast areas of the world in the present. This condition may exist in the forms of undernutrition, specific nutrient deficiency, overnutrition, and imbalance. This condition may be crucial in giving contribution to the improvement since the individual himself may be necessary in the holistic level of progress and development of a community.
Barangay Manguiles is facing this kind of problem with 11% of 126 mothers interviewed do not practice exclusive breastfeeding, 7% of mothers interviewed do not practice breastfeeding at all, 28% of children ages 0-5 years are underweight, 34% of children ages 0-5 years are stunted, 23% of the 264 children ages 6-19 years are thin, and 83% of households do not use iodized salt.
The causality of malnutrition in Barangay Manguiles basically rooted from varied inter-related factors that contribute in the state of poor nutrition within the community. From the interview, majority of the households are farmers and mostly belonged below the poverty index. If income is inadequate, capital for business or food production would be limited, thus, food supply is affected. Limited food supply may result in high priced goods available on the market. With these, only affordable food items can be bought by families who have insufficient budget for food. Thus, food preferences are affected as limited variety of food are introduced to the family. These could result into underlying cause of insufficient food intake of family members that can further progress in the development of diseases and nutrient deficiencies.
If nutrition education is not received or applied, food belief, improper food behavior and attitudes may not be corrected. When nutrition information such as advantages and disadvantages of family planning and consequences of early pregnancy are not disseminated well enough, these can result in underlying factors such as teenage pregnancy and too much number of family members that intensify the burden of the nutrition situation. These may further lead to another major factor “improper care of children” or in other words, neglectful towards their children’s health status.
In addition to these, the residents’ lack of knowledge equates to low salience of the problem, malnutrition, and thus, further complicate the supposedly easily solved-problem.
The Proposed Solutions
The Comprehensive Health Plan (CHP) for malnutrition entitled, “Healthy Children is a Healthy Manguiles (HCHM)” will be formed and is targeted for children ages 0-19 years old. The solutions proposed are to be effective 2018 until 2020. The knowledge of the community people are to be assessed, then, with this on hand, it will be enhanced through variety of activities such as mother’s class, questionnaires, cooking show, to name a few. Improvement of the knowledge, attitude and practices of the children on proper nutrition is also another strategy upon which a Nutrition Day will be held and seminars, as well. The Community Health Team (CHT) will also be involved on several activities such as seminars, feeding programs, lectures and demonstration. The DOH program of “Garantisadong Pambata” will be further strengthened. All efforts are focused on the end-goal of 0% malnourished child.
Sustainability of the proposed solutions will be obtained through the formation of a core group, Barangay Nutrition Committee that would spearhead the projects and monitor the progress of identified malnourished children. A monthly report will be submitted to the Community Health Team for record keeping.
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