Sunday, May 13, 2012

PINOY Program Launched by DOST

The Philippine Department of Science and Technology or DOST launched yesterday their Package for the Improvement of Nutrition of Young Children program which seeks to improve the health status of children under three years of age.

The program, which is nicknamed, PINOY aims to fight the country's ever increasing malnutrition among Filipino children. DOST Secretary Mario Montejo says, "The first two years is a very critical period for kids because the ill effects of malnutrition on their bodies and brains will be irreversible."

"Malnourished kids do not perform well in school, and have unhealthy worldview because they are sickly," he continues. "When they grow up, they will become unproductive and raise malnourished families. The cycle will just keep repeating itself."

The program will initially be active in key cities around the country where child malnutrition incidents are high, specifically in Negros Occidental, Iloilo, Antique, and Taguig City in Metro Manila.

PINOY Project head, Julieta Dorado explains that the main cause of malnutrition among young children is because mothers rarely continue breastfeeding beyond six months, and no healthy alternative is given to them by the family.

She emphasizes that feeding "am", the liquid from boiling rice which is often given to children as a milk supplement, grossly lacks in nutrients that babies need.

Thus, the DOST Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) is working hard to provide and distribute complimentary food and better substitute that will provide a healthy balanced diet to children below the age of children.