By: Elena S. Pelare
Ozamiz City- Department of Health Assistant Secretary and National Nutrition Council Executive Director Maria Bernardita Flores lauded the strong tie between the Local Government Unit of Ozamiz and the Misamis University in the effective implementation of the nutrition program in the community, particularly the research and validation made on the Pabasa sa Nutrisyon Program impact.
Misamis University College of Nursing and Midwifery (MUCNM) thru its Community Extension Program and Research Center is the one conducting the research and validation on the impact to the family-beneficiaries of the Pabasa sa Nutrtisyon Program.
The said research and validation conducted by MUCNM had served as a tool to determine on how effective the Pabasa sa Nutrisyon program is, and how it changed the nutritional status of the children in the family whose mother has attended the Pabasa classes.
ASEC Flores who led the national evaluation team validating Ozamiz LGU’s nutrition program was greatly impressed on how Misamis University and the City Government of Ozamiz worked together in coming up with a distinctly efficient initiative in ensuring the proper health care for all the children from the urban areas down to the remotest barangay.
Ozamiz City is vying for this year’s highest recognition in nutrition, the Nutrition Honor Award (NHA).
During the desk review, ASEC Flores said that in the previous years during the national evaluation she keep on suggesting to Ozamiz CNC to get the impact of the Pabasa sa Nutrisyon even though it has been recognized by the Philippine Association of Nutrition Inc., as outstanding and later rated as excellent , but the real impact of the program is still unknown in the absence of a validation.
Mrs. Lelita G. Navarez, the city Nutrition Action Officer (CNAO) , a nutritionist and graduate from the University of the Philippines Los Banos, said it took them two years looking for the right partner to do the necessary research on the impact of Pabasa.
“ The national evaluating team has repeatedly suggesting that we should validate the impact of the Local Government’s Pabasa sa Nutrisyon program to the Households with underweight children but only last year the Lady Mayor have inked the Memorandum of Agreement with Dr. Karen Belina F. De Leon , the University President of Misamis University regarding the research project”, Navarez said.
As a member of the City Nutrition Committee (CNC) , the College of Nursing and Midwifery of Misamis University thru it’s Community Extension Program (MUCEP) has played a vital role in carrying out the nutrition program effectively by a regular community outreach, teaching mothers the right choice of food the proper food preparation, proper hygiene and waste disposal.
MUCNM’s research on Pabasa is done with the objectives of getting its impact, assessing the program’s effectiveness based on nutritional status of children, presence of backyard vegetable garden, herbal garden and fruit bearing trees and livestock, degree of compliance of households as to the PABASA’s Clean and Healthy Environment and mothers degree of involvement in the Barangay Health activities.
Misamis University’s research study selected 390 households from 18 barangays from the coastal, lowland and upland areas. The study shown that Pabasa sa Nutrisyon rendered less number of children having poor nutritional status.
The Pabasa sa Nutrisyon program of Ozamiz has earned national recognition and subsequently won the Hall of Fame award in 2011. The said recognition given to the administration of Mayor Nova Princess Parojinog-Echavez has served as a vehicle in achieving more best recognitions from the national government such as the prestigious award in good governance the Seal of Good Housekeeping and the Gawad Pamana ng Lahi.
The Pabasa sa Nutrisyon program is designed as a unique education approach in nutrition aimed at getting the sustainable and active involvement and participation of all mothers and guardians in the learning process towards attaining healthy family. It teaches and guides the mothers on the three basic food group; go, glow and grow foods, give focus on food production like growing crops and raising small animals as mains of livelihood to meet Philippine government agenda of eradicating poverty.
Ozamiz City is the first LGU in Mindanao successfully implementing the Pabasa sa Nutrisyon, starting with a recognition as an Outstanding implementor in 2007-2008, subsequently leveled up to Exemplary performance in Nutrition in the succeeding year and finally coveted the Hall of Fame Award in 2011 given by the Philippine Association of Nutrition, Inc .
The NNC has yet to release the final result of the just concluded national evaluation that made everyone here waiting with mixed feelings of nervous , but according to Mayor Nova, beyond the recognition and the award is the fulfillment of serving the people.
“ The awards and recognitions served as inspiration to us, but beyond that is the true public service that make the people feel that there is a government that cares about them”, the young lady Mayor said.