PIA News Service - Friday, July 23, 2010

PIA-Caraga chief, 8 others sworn in as Red Cross’ BODs

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (23 July) – Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga OIC-Regional Director Abner M. Caga sworn in Thursday, July 22, 2010 along with the eight newly-elected Board of Directors of the Agusan del Norte and Butuan City Chapter of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) after the election conducted in time with the PRC’s 7th Biennial Chapter Assembly held in one of the local convention centers here.

Dir. Caga, being the region’s chief of the information arm of the government, is known to be an avid supporter of all the activities conducted by PRC-Agusan del Norte-Butuan City Chapter, which made him qualified as one of the 11 final nominees out of the original 28 nominees coming from both the public and private sectors.

“As OIC-Regional Director of PIA here in Caraga, I lead my staff in conducting and/or facilitating coverages of all activities of the Red Cross here in Agusan del Norte and Butuan City which is also in line with the thrusts and programs of the agency,” Dir. Caga said.

Also, it was learned that Caga was pushed by Red Cross stakeholders to file the nomination form. “At first, I was hesitant if I have to entertain those recommendations from some PRC stakeholders but since we are in the public service and I know that Red Cross focuses humanitarian missions, I don’t find any reason not to accept the nomination,” he said.

Dir. Caga is an AB-Political Science graduate of University of San Carlos in Cebu City. He is also a Master in Public Administration (MPA) graduate of Southwestern University, Cebu City, and is currently taking up Doctor in Public Administration (DPA) of the same university.

Other elected members of the PRC Board of Directors include Butuan City Councilors Josephine Marticion-Salise and Dr. Virigilio Nery, Mr. Alfonso Young, Mr. Titus Thaddeus Vesagas, Engr. Epimaco Galero, Jr. (McVille Global Network Philippines, Inc. CEO), Dr. Leodegaria Yu-Go, Dr. Joanna B. Cuenca (Caraga State University [CSU] President), and Mr. Rogelio Yu. (PIA-Caraga)


Butuan City officials push for transparency, anti-corrupt governance

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (23 July) – True to his promise of upholding an anti-corrupt governance if ever elected Mayor of the city during the Liberal Party’s local campaign sorties in barangays here, City Mayor Ferdinand M. Amante, Jr. is serious in its effort to implement transparency in his administration.

This is what Vice-Mayor Lawrence Lemuel Fortun stressed in an interview with a local radio station here today (July 23).

According to Fortun, one of the measures currently undertaken by the city government under their administration is to eliminate checkpoints in main highways of the city as well as in Agusan river.

“Gipaningkamotan gyud sa atong administrasyon sa atong dakbayan nga mawala ang mga gipahigayon nga mga checkpoints sa atong nasudnong kadalanan dinhi sa atong dakbayan kay kini usa ka matang sa ginatawag nato nga korapsyon diin mao gyud kini ang gipaningkamotan usab sa atong Presidente Noynoy Aquino nga wagtangon sa atong sistema dinhi sa nasud. (Our administration in the city is doing our best to eliminate checkpoints in the national highways/roads here in Butuan since this is one form of corruption and that, President Noynoy Aquino is also serious in curbing this problem in our system here in the country), he said.

Also, the young lawyer and 2nd highest official of the city government here announced that, still, as part of the transparency governance of the city government, the Sanggunian Information System was already installed yesterday (July 22) in some of the computers in city hall.

“Ang Sanggunian Information System usa ka software nga gi-installar sa mga computer kung diin ang mga mahinungdanon nga mga dokumento sa Sangguniang Panlungsod mahimo na nga i-save sa maong mga computer. Tungod niini, mahimo na’ng makita o ma-access sa publiko ang maong mga dokumento sa computer kung muadto kini sila sa City Hall. Tungod niini, ang tanan nga mga transaksyones sa Sangguniang Panlungsod mahibalo-an na sa publiko.” (The Sanggunian Information System is a software that stores all necessary documents in Sangguniang Panlungsod into the computer. With this, the said documents will be available and accessible by the public as soon as they will go to the city hall. For this reason, all transactions done in the Sangguniang Panlungsod will be made known to the public), Fortun said.

When asked what he expects from the forthcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) of Pres. Aquino, Vice-Mayor Fortun said, “Gusto nako’ng madungog sa atong halangdong Presidente and tinuora’y nga estado sa nasud… ang tinuod nga kundisyon sa atong nasud tungod kay daghan na’ng mga pronouncements ang nahitabo nga matud pa, iyang namana ang mga problema sa miaging administrasyon sama sa tinuod nga estado sa atong ekonomiya ug problema sa graft and corruptions.” (I want to hear from Pres. Noynoy the real state of the nation… the real condition and situation of the country since there were many pronouncements made that accordingly, he inherits problems from the previous administration as to the real economic status of the country, graft and corruption problems, and the like), he said.

Meanwhile, Pres. Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III is set to deliver his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 26, 2010. Here, the President is expected to discuss the priority programs of his administration. (PIA-Caraga)


PCSO revenues up by 100% more in Agusan del Sur

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (23 July) – “The revenues in some 20 lotto outlets of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) in Agusan del Sur has increased by more than a hundred percent,” thus said Ms. Gloria Ybañez, PCSO Caraga Lottery Operations Officer in a phone-patch interview with PIA recently.

According to Ybañez, the significant increase of the income and/or revenues of PCSO outlets in Agusan del Sur is due to the directives of Agusan del Sur Governor Adolph Edward “Eddiebong” Plaza to stop illegal operators in the province.

“Kaya nagpapasalamat talaga ako kay Gob. Eddiebong Plaza dahil sa kaniyang walang sawang pagsuporta sa mga programa ng PCSO sa kanilang probinsiya” (That is why I am very much thankful to Gov. Eddiebong Plaza for his untiring support to all the programs of PCSO in their province), he said.

With the latest developments, Ybañez said, more clients/patients will benefit from the services of PCSO. “Dahil sa pangyayaring ito, maraming kliyente ang makakakuha ng benepisyo sa mga serbisyo ng PCSO kaya malaking tulong talaga ito sa mga nangangailangan” (Because of this, more clients will benefit the services of PCSO so this is really a big help to those in need), she said.

Meanwhile, when asked on the status of the Small Town Lottery (STL) which was opened here recently, Ybañez said, the operation is running smoothly. “Hindi naman talaga kaagad natin ini-expect na maging maganda kaagad ang resulta as far as the revenue is concerned kasi nagsisimula pa lamang ang operation but I am optimistic na lalakas pa ito dito” (We really don’t expect to immediately have a positive result in as far as the revenue is concerned because the operation is still starting but I am optimistic that this will be a big hit here), Ybañez said.

Moreover, the region’s PCSO chief said that managements operating STL in the region were advised that if they will hire people to man the stations, if possible, they will coordinate with the officials of the municipalities so that they can help in the jobs generation campaign of the national government.

Accordingly, STL ushers are considered partners of PCSO. “When they need assistance from PCSO, they are given the priority to avail the services of PCSO,” Ybañez said.

Also, Ms. Ybañez pointed out that since these ushers are PCSO partners, they are given Identification Card by PCSO which boosts their morale since they don’t need to run away from police officers because they are ushering legally. (PIA-Caraga)
.
.
Tagalog News: Lathalain: Bilang ng mga nanay na eklusibong nagpapasuso dumami - FNRI

Alam ng karamihan na ang gatas ng ina o “mother’s milk” ang pinakamabuti at pinakamahusay na pagkain para sa sanggol sa unang anim na buwan para sa kanyang mabilis na paglusog at paglaki. 

Ayon sa pinakahuling survey ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute ng Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), mas mataas ang porsiyento ng mga ina na eklusibong nagpapasuso (exclusive breastfeeding) ng sanggol noong 2008 (35.94%) kumpara noong 2003 (29.7%). 

Ngunit kung ang haba o duration ng eklusibong nagpapasuso ang titingnan, mas maikli noong 2008 (2.3 buwan) kumpara noong 2003 (3.0 buwan)

Alam din ng marami na pagsapit ng ika-anim na buwan ng sanggol, ang gatas ng ina ay hindi na sapat sa kanyang pangangailangan kaya kailangan ang complementary foods. 

Sa huling pag-aaral ng FNRI-DOST, lumabas na ang mga karaniwang complementary foods na binibigay sa sanggol pagsapit ng anim na buwan ay ang lugaw, mga commercially prepared infant foods, minasang pula ng itlog o mashed egg yolk, prutas at gulay. 

Ngunit ang tubig na may asukal ay binibigay na mas maaga sa anim na buwan, ayon pa sa survey. 

Tandaaan na ang pagbibigay ng complementary foods ay dapat napapanahon, sapat, ligtas at angkop. 

Napapanahon ang karagdagang pagkain bukod sa gatas ng ina pagkatapos ng anim na buwan at pataas. Sapat ito kung nasa tamang dami .  

Ligtas ang pagkain ng sanggol kung ito ay malinis at walang nilalaman na maaaring magbigay ng sakit. Angkop ito kung nasa tamang consistency o lapot o labnaw.

Narito ang ilang tagubilin tungkol sa wastong pagdulot o pagbibigay ng pagkain sa sanggol:

1) Karaniwan, pagkatapos ng ika-anim na buwan, ang sanggol ay handa na sa karagdagang pagkain. Subukan kung siya ay handa na sa pagtanggap ng bagong pagkain sa pamamagitan ng paglalagay ng kutsarita sa kanyang bibig:

a) Kung isinasara ng sanggol ang bibig o patuloy na itinutulak ang kutsarita, ang sanggol ay hindi pa handa. Huwag na munang pilitin ang sanggol.

b) Kung ang sanggol ay magpakita naman ng pagtanggap ng pagkain sa pamamagitan ng kutsarita, simulang dulutan ng malabnaw na lugaw. Gawing malapot kung sanay na. Unti-unting idagdag ang linigis, hinimay at hiniwang maliliit na pagkain habang lumalaki ang sanggol.

2) Pasimulan ang pagdudulot ng bagong pagkain na mas kaunti kaysa sa itinatagubiling dami. 

3) Iwasan ang pagdudulot ng sabay ng dalawang bagong uri ng pagkain. Sanayin muna ang sanggol ng 2-3 araw sa bawa’t pagkain. Halimbawa, dulutan ang inyong sanggol ng papaya. Sanayin muna ang inyong sanggol sa papaya sa loob ng 2-3 araw bago dulutan uli ng ibang uri ng prutas tulad ng saging o mangga. 

4) Ipakita ang inyong kasiyahan habang kumakain ang sanggol upang mawili siyang kumain ng iba’t-ibang pagkain.

5) Painumin ang sanggol ng tubig sa pagitan ng pagpapakain para sa mahusay na panunaw.

6) Sa ika-pitong buwan, turuan ang sanggol na uminom ng tubig at ibang likido mula sa tasa. 

7) Bigyan ng pagkaing tinadtad nang pino kapag nagkangipin ang bata. Ang biskotso o malutong na tinapay ay mainam ibigay.

8) Iwasan ang pagbibigay ng mga maalat na pagkain na makapipinsala sa kanyang bato at mga pagkaing matatamis na magiging sanhi ng labis na timbang at pagkasira ng ngipin.

9) Tanging bagong lutong pagkain o bagong talop na prutas lang ang ipakakain sa sanggol. Iwasan ang pagbibigay ng mga tirang pagkain sa sanggol.

Tandaan na kahit ang inyong sanggol ay tumatanggap ng ibang pagkain, kailangan pa ring ipagpatuloy ang pagbibigay ng gatas ng ina. 

Sa wastong pagkain, higit na lulusog at sisigla ang inyong sangol.

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon tungkol sa pagkain at nutrisyon, makipag-ugnayan kay Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel. No. 837-29-34 or 837-20-71 loc. 2287, FNRI-DOST email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph; website:http//www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso, FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)
.
.

Tagalog News: Lathalain: Porsiyento ng mga batang Pinoy na anemic, bumaba - FNRI-DOST

Ano ba ang anemia at ano ang mangyayari kung anemic ang isang bata o tao? 

Ang anemia ay sanhi ng kakulangan ng mineral na iron sa katawan na kakikitaan ng madaling pagkapagod, panghihina ng katawan at pagkahilo.

Ang mineral na iron ay kailangan ng katawan para sa pagbuo ng malusog na dugo at paggawa ng “antibodies” o mga panlaban sa impeksyon. 

Makukuha ang iron sa mga pagkaing tulad ng atay, karne, pula ng itlog o eggyolk at mga lamang-loob. 

Bukod dito, makukuha din ang iron sa madahon at dilaw na gulay tulad ng kulitis, malunggay, talbos ng kamote, petsay, at butong gulay. 

Kailangan ding kumain ng mga pagkaing mayaman sa bitamina C tulad ng papaya, bayabas, at datiles upang magamit ng mabuti ng katawan ang mineral na iron. 

Ang regular na deworming o pagpurga ay makatutulong sa pagsugpo ng anemia at maayos na kalagayang pang-nutrisyon. 

Lumabas sa pinakahuling pag-aaral ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute ng Department of Science at Technology (FNRI-DOST) na bumaba ang porsiyento ng mga batang may anemia noong 2008 kumpara noong 2003. 

Mula sa 66.2 porsiyento (%) o pito sa bawat sampu noong 2003 ay naging 55.7 porsiyento (%) o anim sa bawat sampu noong 2008 sa mga batang may edad anim na buwan hanggang kulang sa isang taon (<1 taon). 

Gayundin, bumaba ang porsiyento ng anemia sa batang may edad na anim hanggang labingdalawang taon. 

Tandaan na palagiang isama ang mga pagkaing mayaman sa mineral na iron at bitamina C para maiwasan ang anemia sa mga bata at sa buong pamilya. 

Para sa karagdagang impormasyon tungkol sa pagkain at nutrisyon, makipag-ugnayan kay Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel. No. 837-29-34 or 837-20-71 loc. 2287, FNRI-DOST email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph; website:http//www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso, FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)
.
.

Tagalog News: Lathalain: Timbang, sukat ng kalusugan!

Ang timbang ay isa sa mga batayan ng kalusugan ng mga kabataan.

Ayon sa 7th National Nutritional Survey (NNS) na isinagawa ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute ng Department of Science and Technology (FNRI – DOST) noong 2008, malaki ang bilang o porsiyento ng kabataan sa bansa ang kulang o mababa ang timbang ayon sa kanilang edad.

Lumabas sa naturang survey na 26.2 porsiyento ng mga kabataang may edad 0 – 5 taon ang kulang sa timbang at 25.6 porsiyento naman sa mga batang may edad 6 – 10 taon ang kulang sa timbang ayon sa kanilang edad.

Ito ay isang patunay na hindi gaanong nabibigyan ng importansiya ng mga magulang ang pagpapanatili ng tamang timbang ng kanilang mga anak. 

Nararapat lamang na paigtingin pa ng pamahalaan ang pagpapalaganap ng mga impormasyon o materyales na nagtataguyod sa tamang timbang. 

Isa sa mga ito ang Gabay Bilang 3 ng Gabay sa Wastong Nutrisyon para sa Pilipino na naglalayong panatilihin ang tamang paglaki ng bata sa pamamagitan ng palagiang pagsubaybay sa kanyang timbang.

Kaya sa mga nanay na gustong masigurong malusog ang kanilang mga anak, magtimbang na!  

Para sa karagdagang kaalaman tungkol sa pagkain at nutrisyon, maaaring makipag-ugnayan kay Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Gen. Santos Ave., Bicutan, Taguig City; Tel./Fax: 837-29-34/837-31-64; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph., mar_v_c@yahoo.com ; FNRI-DOST website: http//www.fnri@dost.gov.ph. (Alexis M. Ortiz, FNRI-DOST S&T MEDIA SERVICE/PIA-Caraga)

.

News Feature: Intensified breastfeeding promotion among pregnant urged

The 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) in 2008 showed that the participation of pregnant women in breastfeeding promotion program is low.

Results of the survey on government program participation showed that only 24 in every 100 pregnant women participated in breastfeeding promotion program. 

This figure among the pregnant is in contrast with the participation level of lactating women in breastfeeding promotion program reported at 100 percent.

While the promotion of breastfeeding is successful among lactating women, more attention should be given to pregnant women in preparation for lactation. 

Breastmilk is by far the best food for a newborn baby, and encouraging soon-to-be-moms to breastfeed is an important undertaking.

Breastfeeding protects against common infections, especially diarrhea and respiratory diseases as well as urinary tract and ear infections, in addition to psychosocial and emotional benefits like mother-baby bonding. 

During pregnancy, a woman's body is already preparing for breastfeeding, as milk ducts and milk-producing cells are developing and more blood goes to the breasts than before. 

Pregnant women need a healthy diet for sufficient milk supply. 

Good nutrition in pregnancy helps a mother stay healthy, energetic and better prepared for taking care of the baby and the rest of the family. 

Nutrition and health advocates recommend exclusive breastfeeding infants for six months, and then continue for as long and often as possible. 

Exclusive breastfeeding means giving the baby only breastmilk for six months – no other fluids, including water, tea or sugar.

Researches have shown that a woman is more likely to breastfeed longer if her partner and family members are well-informed and supportive. 

In preparing for breastfeeding, it is best to get the husband and relatives' support on the decision to breastfeed, so the mother and the baby can have a healthy start. 

Breastfeeding classes and other nutrition and health promotion activities can help address concerns like teaching mothers the recommended diet, correct positions of breastfeeding, right clothes to wear, what to do with inverted nipples, importance of regular check-ups in health centers or hospitals and where they can get support, among others. 

Today, with a growing concern on food safety and security and the threats of natural calamities like strong typhoons and prolonged droughts, breastfeeding ensures that newborn infants get enough nourishment to grow normally and become productive
citizens in the future. 

Breastfeeding promotion focused on nutrition, health and economic benefits should be intensified among pregnant women to encourage the practice immediately after childbirth. 

For more information about the NNS and on food and nutrition, you may contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; Trunkline: 837-2071 local 2296 or 2287; Telephone/Fax No.: 837-3164; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; Website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (Charina A. Javier, FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)
.
.

Tagalog News: Lathalain: Mais, mainam sa mga diyabetiko?

Kayo ba ay mahilig kumain ng mais? Alam ba ninyo na maraming health benefits na pwedeng makuha sa mais?

Ang mais ay ikalawa sa mga pangunahing pagkain ng mga Pilipino.

Base sa 2003 Food Consumption Survey ng Food and Nutrition Research Institute ng Department of Science and Technology, 3.5 porsiyento (%) ng total food intake o kabuoang kinakain ng mga Pilipino ay galing sa mais at mga produkto nito na tumitimbang ng 31 gramo o kulang pa sa kalahating tasa. 

Sa Central Visayas, ang karaniwang pagkain ng mais ay nasa 136 gramo. Sa Northern Mindanao, ito ay nasa 116 gramo at sa Zamboanga Peninsula ay 133 gramo.

Sa ngayon, ang pinaka popular na varieties o uri ng mais ay ang dilaw at ang puti.
Ang dilaw na mais ay mas malalaki ang butil kumpara sa puti na maliliit ang butil pero mas matamis. 

Ang parehong varieties ay maaaring ipakain sa mga hayop at tao.

Ang mais ay sagana sa bitamina, mineral at dietary fiber para sa maayos na pagdumi at tumutulong din upang mapababa ang kolesterol.

Bukod sa sustansya ng mais, ito ay inuugnay din sa ibang health benefits.
Ang puting mais ay mababa ang glycemic index. 

Ang glycemic index (GI) ay classification o ranking ng mga pagkain batay sa blood glucose response ng pagkain kumpara sa standard glucose solution kung saan ang sukatan ay mula 0 hanggang 100. 

Ang mga pagkain na mas mataas sa 55 ang GI ay yung mga madaling matunaw o mabilis na nakapagpapataas ng glucose sa dugo. 

Ang mga pagkain naman na mas mababa sa 55 ang GI ay mabagal matunaw at unti-unti lamang itinataas ang glucose sa dugo. 

Ang mga pagkaing mababa ang GI ay nakatutulong sa tamang pangangalaga at pagkontrol ng timbang at gana sa pagkain. Ito ay sa dahilang hindi agad nagugutom ang isang tao, kaya kontrolado rin ang pagkakaroon ng diyabetis. Batay sa mga pagsasaliksik, ang mga pagkain na mababa ang GI ay tumutulong upang bumuti ang lebel ng glucose at taba sa dugo ng mga taong may diyabetis.

Bukod dito, ito ay nagpapanatili ng lakas ng mga manlalaro dahil sa unti-unting paggamit ng enerhiya mula sa muscles. 

Kung kaya’t di nakapagtataka na maraming boksingero at runner ang regular na kumakain ng mais.
Maraming paraan ng paghahanda o paggamit ng mais na maaaring gawin tulad ng mga sumusunod:
• Corn on the cob ay maaaring pinasingawan, nilaga or inihaw;
• Corn kernels ay maaaring gawing side dish para sa inihaw na manok o spareribs;
• Corn kernels bilang sangkap sa soups, stews, casseroles, pudding, breads, at relishes;
• Corn kernels para sa mais con yelo; at
• Baby Corn para sa mga lutuing Thai and Chinese .
Para sa karagdagang impormasyon tungkol sa pagkain at nutrisyon, makipag-ugnayan kay Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Food and Nutrition Research Institute-DOST, Bicutan, Taguig, Metro Manila, Tel. No. 837-29-34 or 837-20-71 loc. 2287, FNRI-DOST email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph; website:http//www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso, FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)
.
.

News Feature: More than half of Pinoy buyers don’t read food labels

More than half of Filipino households do not read labels when buying processed foods. Only only 35.0 percent do. The survey done in 2008 by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (or FNRI) of the Department of Science and Technology revealed this fact.

Among the households who read food labels, 46.0 percent were looking for expiry dates and 45.8 percent on nutrition facts or nutrient content in the label.

A food label provides information on the product name, ingredients, name and address of manufacturer, expiration date, net contents in terms of weight, measure count and nutrition information. 

Reading food labels helps consumers in selecting which components of food would contribute to a well balanced diet.

Remember to always read food labels before buying. 

For more information about the NNS and on food and nutrition, you may contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; Trunkline: 837-2071 local 2296 or 2287; Telephone/Fax No.: 837-3164; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; Website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (Ma. Idelia G. Glorioso, FNRI-DOST S & T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)
.
.

News Feature: Anemia still prevalent among Filipinos - FNRI survey

The 7th National Nutrition Survey (NNS) conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST) showed that the prevalence of anemia among Filipinos remained high. 

The survey showed that while the anemia problem in the country has generally eased down from 2003 to 2008, it still remains a serious concern particularly for infants 6 months to less than 1 year old and pregnant women.

Infants 6 months to less than 1 year old have the highest prevalence rate among all the age groups with 56 in every 100 or 55.7 percent having iron deficiency anemia (IDA). Though the latest result showed that there is a significant decrease from the 2003 NNS of 66.2 percent, it is still higher than its 1993 prevalence rate of 49.2 percent. 

Among pregnant women, 43 in every 100 or 42.5 percent are anemic. 

These two age groups remain a significant public health problem. For a nutritional deficiency to be considered a public health problem, the prevalence should be greater than or equal to 40 percent prevalence rate. 

The 7th NNS results showed that overall prevalence of anemia, from 6 months to the elderly, is 19.5 percent. 

Generally, females are more anemic than males except for school-age children and the elderly. 

Among the 13-19 year olds, the prevalence of anemia for males is 10.4 percent and 18.2 of females. Among 20-39 year olds, the prevalence is 6.8 percent for males and 18.6 percent for females, while among 40-59 years old, 12.7 percent of males are anemic and 22.7 percent of females.

Male and female anemia prevalence rates were similar among 6-12 years, old with 20.4 percent males and 19.2 percent females, while among elderly, with 33.4 males and 32.8 percent females.

Using the 2008 Projected Population by the National Statistics Office (NSO), the estimated number of anemic children, 6 months to less than one year, 1-5 years, and 6-12 years is 0.74 million, 2.10 million and 2.77 million, respectively.

IDA during the first 2 years of life significantly impairs growth. Some studies have shown that iron deficiency in the early stages of life causes abnormal protein synthesis in the brain involved in memory processing. 

Iron-deficient anemic infants become wary, lack social referencing and stimulus toys can be taken away from them without protest. Anemic infants also fail in language capabilities and body balance-coordination skills. 

Infants with chronic, severe iron deficiency together with cognitive, motor and affective changes may adversely affect the infant’s interactions with the physical and social environment, thereby compromising development even further. 

In other age groups, anemia causes general weakness, poor physical performance, easy fatigability, pallor and weight loss. 

The high prevalence of anemia especially among infants and pregnant women calls for more strengthened intervention. Attention should be given to the perennial problem of anemia in the Philippines, especially among infants. 

The national and local government, non-government organizations must make sure that iron-rich foods and supplements are provided in high-risk areas. Home, school and community food production should also be revitalized and strengthened to increase food supply, like iron-rich vegetables, in the household. 

Mothers or caregivers should have their children undergo regular growth monitoring and should access available health services to ensure that children are healthy and well-nourished. 

For more information about the NNS and on food and nutrition, you may contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; Trunkline: 837-2071 local 2296 or 2287; Telephone/Fax No.: 837-3164; e-mail: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; Website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph (Charina A. Javier, FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service/PIA-Caraga)