BACOLOD CITY – Malnourished children in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental have achieved significant improvement in their nutritional status after undergoing a 90-day feeding program implemented by the provincial government.
Through the Community-Based Nutrition Program (CBNP) for Peace and Development, some 209 identified children beneficiaries were fed breakfast and lunch based on the menus set in two-week cycles from April 27 to July 31.
Data on Thursday showed that after about two months or by July 10, there was "a significant increase in the number of children who gained weight".
"From the 156 severely underweight and underweight children-beneficiaries before the start of the program, the number went down to 83 or a decrease of 47 percent," the report said.
It added "60 percent of the children have achieved normal weight, which is 125 out of the 209 beneficiaries, as of the second weigh-in".
Don Salvador Benedicto, a mountain locality, has been identified as one of the two municipalities in Negros Occidental which has the worst cases of malnutrition among children from 0-59 months.
A 2021 survey showed the municipality had the most wasting (low weight for height of a child) and was the second in stunting (low height for age of a child).
Under the CBNP, the seven barangays in Don Salvador Benedicto were allocated PHP500,000 each or a total of PHP3.5 million for the implementation of the 90-day feeding program for 30 children-beneficiaries in each village.
The provincial government initiated the program with the municipality of Don Salvador Benedicto "to provide necessary and appropriate intervention against malnutrition" in collaboration with the University of St. La Salle and the Negros Occidental Nutrition Alliance.
During the culmination activity held on Aug. 1, Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson said the CBNP is "a concrete step" to make sure that the province's plan of action to fight malnutrition "involves not only remedies, but also prevention and proper assistance."
"Let us fortify our actions in the local level as it will definitely make our initiatives more effective and responsive," he added.
Mayor Laurence Marxlen de la Cruz encouraged parents to work with the municipal government to prevent malnutrition among their children.
"We thank the provincial government for extending this assistance to us for the health and development of the younger generation," he said. (PNA)