NUTRITION CHECK. A health worker weighs a child in Tacloban City in this June 10, 2022 photo. The activity is one of the strategies to assess the impact of the nutrition program in the communities. (Photo courtesy of National Nutrition Council)

TACLOBAN CITY – Local health authorities are asked to incorporate Covid-19 prevention and nutrition intervention for a child's first 1,000 days in their local nutrition action plans.

Speaking to reporters during the Nutrition Month opening here on Wednesday, Catalino Dotollo, National Nutrition Council (NNC) program coordinator for Eastern Visayas, said these are the two programs they want to emphasize in this year’s celebration.

“Our main advocacy is to focus on initiatives to help end this pandemic and deliver services on nutrition, health, early learning and social services for pregnant women and children below two years old or the first 1,000 days of life,” Dotollo said.

The first 1,000 days, from conception until the child reaches his or her second birthday, are considered globally the “golden window of opportunity” to build a person’s foundation for physical growth, mental development, health, and economic productivity, according to experts.

The official said the pandemic has made a huge impact on nutrition such as disruptions in the delivery of nutrition and related services, increased hunger incidence, and many more.

“There are also positive impacts such as innovation in service delivery, home food production, increased awareness of one’s health and consuming healthy diets, and the solidarity among the people to help each other,” Dotollo added.

This year’s Nutrition Month is anchored on the theme “New normal na nutrisyon, sama-samang gawan ng solusyon!”.

It calls for strengthened nutrition interventions and solidarity towards its improvement as the country shifts towards living with the Covid-19 virus.

The theme, according to Dotollo, signifies the key role of nutrition in building resilience from pandemic to endemic paradigm.

The NNC said Eastern Visayas is still facing challenges on a high incidence of stunting and underweight among children zero to five years old.

Two out of every 10 children in the region are suffering stunted growth while one out of every 10 is underweight.

The data is based on the 2021 monitoring reports from local government units in six provinces and seven cities. (PNA)