Save the Children Philippines launches a new report and the ‘Lahat Dapat’ campaign
On 3 September 2015, Save the Children Philippines launched a new report titled “Sizing Up: The Stunting and child Malnutrition Problem in the Philippines”. In the report, Save the Children cites data from the 2013 National Nutrition Survey that indicates the rate of stunting among Filipino children has gone decreased since 1993 but still remains at around 30%. This means that nearly one in three Filipino suffers from stunted growth, which indicates chronic malnutrition.
“The assumption has always been that Filipinos are just genetically short, but we what we actually see now are generations of stunted and malnourished children, because ‘shortness’ is considered a racial trait, it is not seen as a serious concern. Stunting is more than just being short; it impacts children’s future because it hinders physical and mental growth.” – Dr. Amado Parawan, Health and Nutrition advisor, Save the Children.
The report notes that nutrition is particularly crucial during the child’s first 1,000 days—from the mother’s pregnancy up to the child’s second birthday—to prevent stunting and wasting. According to the report, children who did not achieve the optimum growth within this period are at higher risk of impaired cognitive development
Save the Children Philippines country director Ned Olney said that battling stunting and malnutrition is also not just a matter of children’s health but also of national development and progress.
“By tackling child malnutrition alongside poverty and food security, we are helping save and tap full potentials of millions of Filipino children.” – Ned Olney, Country Director, Save the Children.
The launch of the report also coincided with the launch of Lahat Dapat, a Save the Children campaign against hunger and malnutrition which will urge the government and the public to increase their efforts to reduce public malnutrition and to reach the country’s Millenium Development Goals.
The campaign calls for:
- Nutrition first – the prioritization of nutrition as a key development goal and as the centerpiece in the upcoming campaign for the 2016 elections.
- A budget for programs – allocations in the budget for “equitable nutrition policies and programs” that address the immediate, underlying and basic causes of malnutrition.”
- Cutting down on child mortality – the stepping up of “high-impact nutrition interventions” to prevent deaths of millions of children in the Philippines such as promotion of exclusive breastfeeding, appropriate complementary feeding, vitamin A and iron supplementation, treatment of acute malnutrition and maternal nutrition.
- Investing in LGUs – funding community- and facility-based health and nutrition service providers, including providing regular and standard compensation for frontline nutrition health workers on the municipal and barangay levels.
- Support for the First 1000 Days Bill – An act of the Senate of the Philippines to protect Filipino mothers and children from malnutrition by establishing a maternal and child health care program appropriating funds for the purpose.
Download the report: Sizing Up: The Stunting and child Malnutrition Problem in the Philippines
Download the First 1000 Days Bill: Senate of the Philippines
Learn more about “Lahat Dapat” (No child left behind): Save the Children Philippines