MANILA – The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic did not stop the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) from training barangay health workers to help fight malnutrition among kids.

"Three provinces were affected and where FNRI could not conduct a face-to-face training. These are Zamboanga Sibugay (municipalities of Siay and Imelda), Bulacan (municipalities of San Miguel and Bocaue) and Agusan del Sur (Loreto at La Paz municipalities). These are where the FNRI will use recorded videos of modules and training materials," FNRI Director Imelda Agdeppa told the Philippine News Agency in an interview Wednesday.

Among the things the barangay health workers and nutrition staff could learn from the video are guidelines on DOST-PINOY (Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children), safe pregnancy, breastfeeding, meal plan, food safety, and urban gardening.

"The DOST-PINOY is part of the Malnutrition Reduction Program (MRP). We recorded videos to be used to train the community health workers, who will then teach the lessons to the parents of guardians of the kids," Agdeppa said.

The official added the FNRI expects that the recorded lessons will guide the guardians in properly taking care of the kids, by preparing proper meal for them, ensuring cleanliness and safety in food preparation, etc.

She said the videos contain exercises to guide the community health workers in implementing complementary feeding for children aged 6 to 23 months. The videos also contain nutrition education for the guardians. "The training will help them plan the implementation of feeding program in their barangays," Agdeppa continued.

Eighty community health workers from 18 barangays of Imelda already had a two-day training last month using the recorded videos. The modules and videos were sent to the local government unit of Imelda, and the training was facilitated by the municipal nutrition program coordinator.

The training is part of Project ANAK (Accelerated Nutrient Advocacy for Kids), which is a model delivery system for complementary feeding intervention aimed to alleviate the malnutrition problem among 6 months to 2 years old.

Project ANAK targets to reach 20 provinces by February 2022, Agdeppa said. (PNA)