A Science and Technology-based Solution to Malnutrition via complementary food innovation for the Filipino Kids
S&T based solution to child malnutrition
In the Philippines, the malnutrition rate remains at a level that is considered as a public health problem. The Department of Science and Technology - Food and Nutrition Research Institute’s (DOST-FNRI) 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey (ENNS) reported 25.5% of less than two-year old children were stunted, 15.0% were underweight, and 7.4% were wasted.
With this as background, this article describes a social innovation for infants and young children and their mothers as a contribution in addressing the problem. The intervention has the components of complementary feeding for young children and nutrition education for their mothers and/or caregivers. The complementary foods are locally made and processed from rice, mungbean and sesame rich in protein and energy specifically for young children and nutrition education to educate the mothers on proper nutrition.
The food technology and the nutrition intervention have been rolled-out nationwide and has proven to be effective as demonstrated in some field studies conducted both in normal and disaster conditions. As the innovation was adopted and implemented by various local government units in the country, the results were favorable in terms of improving the nutritional status of young children.
The scaling-up of the innovation needs advocacy and an issuance of a policy memorandum for the adoption of the intervention by the Local Government Units and its institutionalization nationwide. The social innovation is envisioned to be sustained as part of the first 1000 days’ program of the government.
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