MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Health (DOH), in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP), today launched the first Philippine national guidelines for the management of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) among children under five years of age.
“Our ultimate goal is to significantly lower, if not zero out, the rate of acute malnutrition in the Philippines,” said Martin Bettelley, Country Director ad interim of WFP Philippines.
According to a recent National Nutrition Survey by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI), about one million Filipino children suffer from acute malnutrition.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to partner with the Department of Health in making this initiative a reality. Our strategic collaboration was key to producing a manual that comes in handy for both decision-makers and for healthcare providers, who will help improve the nutrition of Filipino children through quality health and childcare practices,” added Bettelley.
The guidelines are consistent with the “All for Health towards Health for All” Agenda of the DOH. Further, they support the implementation of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) 2017-2022, which aims to decrease acute malnutrition, reduce child mortality and improve the survival of children under 5 years.
“Children with Moderate Acute Malnutrition have a higher risk of mortality associated with nutrition-related deaths. If they do not receive adequate support and equitable attention, severe acute malnutrition such as extreme wasting or stunting may happen, which are both life-threatening conditions. Therefore, the national guidelines for the management of MAM are timely and essential for it is a public health priority,” said Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.
The manual for the management of MAM completes the set of guidelines for Acute Malnutrition, which also comprises the National Guidelines for the Management of Acute Malnutrition for Children under 5 years (Administrative Order 2015-0055), and the National Guidelines for the Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM).
Following the launch, regional focal persons received a technical briefing and training to ensure that proper interventions for acute malnutrition will be given due place in the work plans of their respective agencies.
The launch of the manual, which coincides with the celebration of National Nutrition Month, included a talk show that provided a venue for healthcare workers and advocates from all over the country to discuss the importance and ways of managing MAM among children.
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DOH holds the over-all technical authority on health as it is a national health policy-maker and regulatory institution in the Philippines. Its mandate is to develop national plans, technical standards, and guidelines on health. Aside from being the regulator of all health services and products, the DOH is the provider of special tertiary health care services and technical assistance to health providers and stakeholders.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists about 80 million people in around 80 countries.
For more information, please contact:
Department of Health (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mr. Francis “Puff” Billeza, Health Education and Promotion Officer II
Tel. (632) 651-7800, Local: 1126, Mobile +63 925-479-0601
World Food Programme - Philippines (Email: AprilCarlen.Ardona@wfp.org)
Ms. April Carlen Ardoña, Communications Assistant
Tel. +63 (02) 833-6229 local 2441, Mobile +63 917-880-9368