Malabon Mayor Lenlen Oreta (left) receiving the top nutrition award
By Junex Doronio
MALABON CITY — In recognition of his successful program in addressing malnutrition among the children and pregnant mothers, Mayor Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta III was hailed as a nutrition champion as he received the award of being the “Most Innovative Local Government Unit in Nutrition Program Management” from the National Nutrition Council (NNC) on the occasion of “Gawad Parangal sa Nutrisyon” held recently at The Heritage Hotel Manila in Pasay City.
The award was given on December 7 in recognition of Oreta’s successful program in solving malnutrition and maintaining the appropriate health of the residents in this city, particularly the children and pregnant women.
During the occasion, Oreta’s wife Chef Melissa Grace Sison-Oreta, who has been aiding the mayor’s able partner in the local implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN), was also named 2019 Outstanding Regional Nutrition Action Officer of the Year.
Also recognized were City Nutrition Officer Fidel Baltazar Dela Cruz and Nancy Mendoza as Local Nutrition Program Coordinator and Regional Outstanding BNS finalists in 2019.
Malnutrition cases in this city first dropped from 7.1 % in 2015 to 5.8 % in 2019.
According to the Expanded National Nutritional Survey, overweight cases among children were also reduced to 2.9 % from 3.9 %% in the same year.
This was achieved due to the enthusiastic and continuing supplementary feeding, nutrition surveys and monitoring, ‘kamustahan at oryentasyon sa tamang nutrisyon,’ and other initiatives of the local government in every barangay.
To recall, this city was also awarded Best in Resource Generation and Mobilization and Very Satisfactory Performance in Nutrition Program Management in 2017.
In the 2021 Regional Nutrition Awarding Ceremony, the NNC particularly recognized the “Karinderia Para sa Kalusugan ni Chikiting” (KKC) which started in March 2018 when the local government in partnership with 50 canteens have provided nutritious meals to identified children and pregnant women as beneficiaries of supplementary feeding for a period of 120 days.
Aside from the additional income for the canteens that were affected by the pandemic, with the help of the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) the beneficiaries as well as their parents were taught to cook healthy foods in their respective homes.
The City Nutrition Committee (CNC), some non-government organizations (NGOs), including Save the Children, World Vision, and Luzon Health also lent a helping hand to the city to further improve the program. (ai/mtvn)