Zamboanga City institutes malnutrition screening for pregnant, lactating women

The Mindanao Examiner Regional Newspaper - - News - (Dania Mae Indal)

ZAMBOANGA CITY – The City Health Office has enacted the screening of pregnant and lactating women or PLW for malnutrition in all Zamboanga’s 98 villages.

Dr. Rodelin Agbulos, the City Health Officer, through the initiative of the City Nutrition Office, has recently issued Memo Order No. 0916 that paved the way for the enactment of the screening program.

The City Health Office is also the first in the country to institute such malnutrition screening for PLW, who are one of the vulnerable groups here given priority by the local government.

To be able to determine which subgroup among the PLW need more nutritional attention, it is necessary to measure these women’s mid-upper arm circumference using a calibrated tape. The women are then classified based on their measurement as normal, nutritionally at risk, moderately acutely malnourished.

PLW comprise about 5.4% of the local population, according to the Department of Health. This translates to 46,537 mothers who need health and nutrition services ranging from prenatal visits, tetanus immunizations, iron and folate or folic acid supplementation, other micronutrient supplementation services, postpartum checkups, and nutritional assessment and counseling.

The Health Organization of Mindanao, hand-in-hand with the Zamboanga City Health Office, supports the upscale of nutrition interventions in 48 villages and these interventions are harnessed towards strengthening actions to achieve a nutritionallysound first 1,000 days of life – from pregnancy to the child’s second year.

HOM is in close partnership with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. It provides humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.

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