HEALTHY students are better learners. The ongoing campaign of World Vision and Westmont Pharmaceuticals, through its Appebon Kid vitamins brand, to beat malnutrition among Filipino school children is firmly anchored on this principle. Since 2013, this partnership has launched a number of programs such as “Happetite School Caravan” and Noche Buena packs to ensure that children in certain communities are provided with adequate support to help them address the problem on malnutrition.
Studies have shown that health-related factors such as hunger, malnutrition and chronic illness can lead to poor school performance of children. In particular, unhealthy eating and nutrient deficiencies are strongly linked to poor grades, low-test scores, and lower educational attainment. Thus, worldwide, public health intervention programs are being launched.
In 2014, Appebon stepped up its campaign by joining World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Program. To date, more than a hundred children have been assisted by the program.
“The partnership of Appebon and World Vision, including the support from partner doctors, in sharing the gift of good health through proper nutrition is based on our shared goal of providing hope to children who belong to underserved communities. It is about doing our part to help reduce malnutrition. Through World Vision’s Child Sponsorship Program, we help transform the lives of children, their families and communities to enable them to reach their full potential for a brighter future, says Renato Castaneda, Division Vice President and General Manager of Westmont Pharmaceuticals.
The Happetite School Caravan was successfully rolled out in 2013. It covered 200 schools in 10 major cities nationwide: Metro Manila, Pampanga, Batangas, Baguio, Bicol, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu, Cagayan de Oro and Davao.
The advocacy supports the government’s effort to reduce malnutrition among children in the Philippines. Nutrition is linked to almost all of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the right to good nutrition for all is crucial in achieving this.
Malnutrition, one of the leading causes of death among children under five years old, is one of the key advocacies of World Vision. It cited in a report that each year, there are 8.8 million children under five years old dying from several illnesses and half of these deaths are caused by malnutrition.
Malnutrition is a condition when the body does not get the right amount of nutrients, minerals and vitamins that it needs to remain healthy
Based on a 2011 anthropomorphic study conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), 20.2 percent of Filipino children aged zero to six years old are underweight for their age, a sign that they have suffered or are suffering from acute malnutrition. It also cited that seven out of 100 children of the said age range are wasting or underweight for their height. Reducing the prevalence of underweight children is a key aspect of MDG for developing countries. In particular, the reduction of the prevalence of underweight children ages 0 to 6 from 27.3 percent to 13.6 percent by 2015 is one of the MDGs set for the Philippines.