Philippines: Ensuring Food Security and Nutrition for Children 0-2 Years Old in the Philippines
A quarter of Filipino children under the age of 5 are underweight. The recent energy, food and financial crises have added to the challenge set by the government of reducing the prevalence of underweight to 17.25% by 2015. The Joint Programme is supporting these efforts, concentrating on improving exclusive breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices in children 0-2 years.
This programme is using social marketing strategies to support exclusive breastfeeding, including behaviour change communication. At the local level, it is galvanising multi-sectoral duty bearers to create an enabling environment for pregnant and lactating women, where the rights of the child to appropriate infant feeding are supported and protected.
To strengthen the nutrition information system, the quality of data reported through the system from the local through to the national level is being reviewed and a district level early warning nutrition and food security system is being developed.
The Joint Programme in action
JOINT PROGRAMME QUICK FACTS
- The programme has promoted exclusive breast feeding (EBF) through various advocacy and training activities, as well as the deployment of peer counselors on EBF. About 3,760 peer counselors have been trained in the National Capital Region and in the joint programme areas. Partner institutions have been selected to train the rest of the targeted 32 cities.
- Micronutrient powder continued to be distributed in the JP areas among children 6-23 months old.
- The programme's social mobilization efforts will be scaled up by the National Center for Health Promotion of the Department of Health using government funds. The Plan of Action for Nutrition 2011-2016 was approved by the National Nutrition Council Governing Board in early 2012 incorporating the Infant and Young Children Feeding agenda promoted by the programme.