ADDRESSING MALNUTRITION. Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. cuts the ribbon to open the Nutri-Agri Fair at the Casa Real as part of the activities for the 48th Nutrition Month on Monday (July 6, 2022). The provincial government launched its Project Nutrivac: Nutrition and Vaccination Towards A New Normal in the Province of Iloilo on July 5 to boost its inoculation campaign and address issues of malnutrition. (Photo courtesy of Balita Halin sa Kapitolyo FB Page)

ILOILO CITY – The Iloilo provincial government here is eyeing to address issues of malnutrition and boost Covid-19 vaccination drive with its Project Nutrivac which will give family packs of nutritious foods to residents who will submit to primary series and booster shots.

Iloilo Provincial Health Officer Dr. Ma.Socorro Quiñon, said on Tuesday, the project was officially launched to also mark the celebration of the 48th Nutrition Month on Monday.

At the same time, Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. signed Executive Order No. 307 mandating the implementation of the “Project Nutrivac: Nutrition and Vaccination Towards A New Normal in the Province of Iloilo", Quiñon said.

Project Nutrivac aims to increase the vaccination coverage of the province towards economic recovery, promote family nutrition and strengthen the public’s health against Covid-19, and incentivize vaccination to increase jab uptake.

EO 307 also calls for providing Nutrivac family packs to Covid-19 vaccinees from families with children who are underweight, wasted, or stunted and indigent families.

Quiñon said the theme of the Nutrition Month celebration New Normal sa Nutrisyon, Sama-Samang Gawan ng Solusyon and the objectives of the project are similar and aligned in promoting three key messages.

“The messages are good nutrition is a key to building immunity, protecting against illnesses and infection and supporting recovery from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, call for continued solidarity to support food and nutrition security for the most vulnerable, and scaling up of nutrition interventions, “ Quiñon said.

The 2021 provincial data on nutrition for 0-5 years old children showed the prevalence of wasting at 1.58 percent or equivalent to 2,552 children while stunting is at 7.46 percent, which is equivalent to 12,016.

The Department of Education (DepEd) data on nutrition among 5-12 years old showed 15, 404 who are severely wasted and 3, 242 who are severely stunted children. 

As of July 4, 2022, data from the Department of Health Western Visayas Center for Health Development showed that for the adult population 18-59 years old, 68.10 percent or 793, 676 are fully vaccinated while 16.02 percent, which is equivalent to 186, 704 have received a booster dose of the 1,165,409 target.

For 60 years old and above, 152, 634 or 63.82 percent are fully vaccinated while 40, 946 or 17.12 percent of the 239,155 targets have booster shots.