Owing to its effective health and nutrition programs, the city government of Makati continues to enjoy the lowest malnutrition prevalence rate among localities in Metro Manila or National Capital Region (NCR), according to the city’s mayor, Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
Citing the latest report of the Makati Health Department (MHD), Binay on Sunday said the malnutrition prevalence rate in Makati this year dipped further, from 0.73 percent in 2013 to 0.64 percent. Back in 1990, the city’s malnutrition prevalence rate, measured among children from zero to 71 months in compliance with Department of Health (DOH) guidelines, was 7.7 percent.
Among 57,693 children in that age bracket that were covered in the latest Operation Timbang conducted by the city Nutrition Office, only 372 were found underweight. As in the past years, the activity covered 25 barangays, not including two disputed barangays (Northside and Southside) and six exclusive villages of the city.
“Good nutrition is the key to a successful child growth and development. In Makati, we ensure that our residents can access the nutrition and health programs for their benefit,” chief nutrition officer Alma Gammad said.
Besides weight monitoring, the Nutrition Office is also conducting micronutrient supplementation, maternal and child health services and oral healthcare to provide nutritional adequacy to underweight children.
The MHD is also closely monitoring the overweight rate of children of pre-school age as it has significantly risen from 2.75 percent in 2013 to 3.33 percent this year.
Gammad said overweight or obese children are at risk of developing hypertension, diabetes and stroke at an early age, adding that this was a perennial problem of highly-urbanized cities.
To lower the overweight nutritional status of the city, the nutrition office is promoting behavioral modification of diet, physical fitness activities and other healthy lifestyle habits.
Meanwhile, Binay said the city government is constantly working hand in hand with parents in ensuring proper nutrition of the children.
“With proper nourishment and guidance, our children will grow up with healthy minds and strong bodies,” he added.
Makati is a consistent recipient of the Nutrition Honor Award, the highest award given by the National Nutrition Council (NNC).
Binay attributed the achievement to the highly-acclaimed health and nutrition programs of the city implemented through the MHD and its Nutrition Office that date back to the term of his father, former Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“We have steadily reduced the city’s malnutrition prevalence rate over the years because of our effective health and nutrition programs, as well as our trailblazing initiatives to promote related advocacies. Among these are our successful community-based breastfeeding advocacy and the establishment of our very own human milk bank,” he said.
Makati City also offers other health programs and benefits such as Yellow Card Plus, which provides highly subsidized medical and hospitalization services to residents; the Expanded Immunization Program Child Care program, which is focused on the health of its young constituents; and Human Milk Bank, which supplies breastmilk to neonatal babies whose mothers cannot produce their own.