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68th PAN ANNUAL CONVENTION
JULY 7 – 8, 2015; CENTURY PARK HOTEL, MANILA
The 68th Philippine Association of Nutrition (PAN) Inc. Annual Convention was held July 7 – 8, 2015 at the Century Park Hotel, Malate, Manila. The convention theme focused on “Isulong and solusyon sa dalawang mukha ng malnutrisyon (the double burden of malnutrition and its solution). The alarming unresolved undernutrition problems are complicated by the increasing noncommunicable disease consequences of overnutrition and unhealthy lifestyle. Evidence-based and context specific solutions for these problems need to be implemented now to reduce the burden of illness from both under and overnutrition.
DAY 1 – Tuesday, July 7, 2015
This year’s convention, PAN President Gemiliano DL. Aligui, opened and welcomed the guests and participants composed of about 500 nutrition action officers, medical practitioners, academicians and allied professionals from both government and private sectors all over the country from Aparri to Southern part of Mindanao.
PAN 1st Vice President and the Overall Chair of the Convention, Dr. Cecilia S. Acuin, introduced the keynote speaker, Honorable Dr. Janette Loreto-Garin, Department of Health Secretary, and a medical doctor. Her long list of achievements speaks of how truly Dr. Garin has an excellent grasp of combating the double burden of malnutrition and the remedies that can be given to the grassroots stakeholders.
In her keynote address focusing on “Philippine Nutrition: Status…It is Complicated”, focused on the alarming effects of malnutrition to the mothers and children particularly the marginalized and socio-economically disadvantaged. Dr. Garin provided the attendees with the deeper understanding on what the government has been doing to address these concerns. Among others, in response to the double burden of malnutrition and the recommended solutions, she mentioned that the Philippines is strengthening the progress of nutrition will require effective, large-scale nutrition sensitive programmes that address key underlying determinants of nutrition and enhance the coverage and effectiveness of nutrition specific interventions.
Also in her paper, she cited that every health care provider should answer legitimately the information in the Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) Card for proper documentation of the children the community. Through this, the intervention will be given to the child will be more appropriate and effective to correct the nutritional status of the child in the succeeding years. Aside from that, she also aims to complement the efforts of the government and private sectors by providing knowledge, information and technology to ensure food safety and security through an interdisciplinary programs that will cater the stakeholders.
While legal policy framework for addressing the double burden of malnutrition are ready in place and adaptation and mitigation measures have already been identified, the greater challenge on how to sustain these gains and do more does remain. As expressed by Dr. Garin, nutritional status can be achieved only with genuine commitment to address the concern and minimized the mortality due to hunger, poverty irradication, good governance and population management. In the final analysis, combating the double burden of malnutrition is about commitment, prompt action, putting the good of many ahead of our own and working together as concerned citizens to address this problem before its too late.
Plenary Session 1. The State of the Nation’s Nutrition
The current state of the country’s nutrition were expounded by statistical data presented by the succeeding speakers, namely: Dr. Cecilia S. Acuin, Nutritional Assessment and Monitoring Division, FNRI-DOST, Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, Department of Health, Hygeia Ceres Catalina B. Gawe, NNC-Nutrition Surveillance Division, Prof. Hercules Callanta, Anthony Calibo, DOH and Ma. Adrienne Constantino, Supervising Scienci Research Specialist, NAMD-FNRI-DOST.
Double Burden of Malnutrition Situation
In her presentation, Dr. Cecilia Acuin refers to the situation where under- and overnutrition co-exist in the same population. Globally speaking, the problem is described to be increasing, affecting lower- and middle-income countries who continue to struggle with undernutrition among children, while the same time dealing with overnutrition among the adults population. The nutrition problem contributes to the increasing double burden of disease, wherein infectious diseases are still substantial causes of morbidity, even as cases with non-communicable diseases are fast increasing.
The Philippines was the first noted to experienced the double burden of malnutrition in the early to mid-2000’s with the persistence of high rates of underweight and stunting among children while the adult population were overweight and obesity rates were observed to be increasing rapidly. In the 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) it shows that under 5 years of age, underweight and stunting rates are still at levels around 20% and 30%, respectively, and have not changed very much in the last decade. Adult overweight and obesity, on the other hand, have been steadily increasing from 24% in 2003, then to 26.6% in 2008 and now 31.1% based on the body mass index (BMI) modality. Android obesity or apple shape body rates have been also increasing specifically female population with percentage exceeding waist circumference cut-offs going from 19.9% in 2011 to 23.1% in 2013, and the percentage exceeding waist:hip ratio cut offs now at 63.2% from 62.5% in 2011.
She mentioned that the Philippine regions also have the dual problems of malnutrition, Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Northern Mindanao have relatively high rates of overweight and obesity, but with still substantial problems of childhood underweight.
Within households, the overlap of under- and overnutrition does not seem to be extensive (3.3%), but within individuals, there is considerable overlap of nutrition related problems. Among children, 15% are both underweight and stunted, while among adults, 22% have BMIs ≥25 and elevated blood pressure. The co-existence of under- and overnutrition means that intervention approaches may need to be made more specific to individual needs and circumstances. Health and nutrition problems co-exist and need to be addressed holistically. These are problems that have been recognized for more than a decade now and needs to be addressed with the nutrition and health communities acting together.
Government Programs and Policies Addressing the Double Burden of Malnutrition
Assistant Secretary Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial, discussed the programs and policies that the government is doing to address the double burden of malnutrition. She mentioned in her presentation, the Philippines is one of many developing countries where improving economic conditions and development in general has led to a double burden of diseases which is coming from an increasing prevalence of malnutrition whereby the undernutrition and obesity or overnutrition has become equally prevalent. In the late 1990s due to the call of UNICEF and WHO, the country’s undernutrition scenario has greatly been reduced due to strategies at improving infant and young child nutrition such as promoting exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age and beyond, child immunization, deworming and vitamin supplementation as well as improving access to treatment of most prevalence childhood illness of diarrhea and respiratory illnesses. The prevalence of undernutrition has now been reduced to less than 9% from more than 23% in 1980. However, we are seeing increased numbers of children with overweight and obesity. The obesity rate among young children has doubled in less than 10 years from 2.4% among 9-11 years old in 1993 climbed to 4.8% in 2005. It is expected that today, many overweight under 5 from underweight under 5 and thus the malnutrition rates overall has not decreased but ironically increased.
The WHO now established a commission to End Childhood Obesity (ECO) noting that obesity in young children has direct impact in the increase of non-communicable diseases (NCD) among adult population. In 2012, the Family Health Office of DOH reconfigures its nutrition strategy and developed the Strategic Framework for Comprehensive Nutrition Implementation Plan 2014-2025, a 20-year plan. The core improvement in this nutrition framework is addressing nutrition interventions throughout the life cycle and not as formerly implemented in silos with priority age groups. It recognizes the impact of early nutrition especially the 1st 1000 days, starting from conception and even inside the womb of the mother will actually impact on the nutrition status and incidence of NCDs in the later life. The nutrition goals or targets have been identified to be attained by 2025 which is aligned with international goals and targets.
Ms. Rosell-Ubial expressed her positive thinking that everything will be reached as long as the government and the private entities will join hands to combat the malnutrition for the betterment of the citizenry and the country.
A luncheon symposium was sponsored by Pfizer Consumer Health Care represented by Dr. Ma. Lourdes Cumagun. The symposium was on the solution that can be offered to lessen or eradicate the double burden of malnutrition in the country. The presentation was informative and full of challenges to the participants to do their part and the company, Pfizer Philippines will not be hesitant to extend their means to lower the effects of the problem. Pfizer provides different modality to answer the needs of the community in which they are catering right now. They are committed to provide a reliable and sustainable solution for the problems especially to the marginalized population of the country as part of their corporate social responsibility.
Plenary Session II. The Fitness Equation: Diet and Physical Activity
Is the Filipino Physically Fit
Prof. Hercules Callanta, Sports Director of Lyceum of the Philippines, discussed “Is the Filipino Physically Fit”. In his presentation, every Filipino is not that fit in terms of physical exercise. The trend of fitness gym in the market shows that there is a need for a physical activity. But based on the statistical data presented, 2 out of 10 individual are only engaging to enroll in the gym for muscle toning or body building. There are individual that engaged to the fitness, after that they will indulge to too much eating especially to carbohydrate-rich food like rice, pasta and the like.
Aside from that, Prof. Callanta discussed the current fitness boom in which the participation of Filipino into exercise. This phenomena will served as the avenue for unsafe practices in exercise clientele that will be linked to limited access on fitness information.
Fellowship Night Party
To cap the day’s full schedule was a fellowship with fun filled games, raffles and community dancing. Aside from that, the ZUMBA enthusiasts bring the highlights of the fellowship night. The fellowship participants went home and went back to their hotels with a deeper understanding of the double burden of malnutrition and a greater challenge on how we as Filipinos can share in our own little way to help our people especially the nutritionally at risk families and vulnerable groups in alleviating the worsening nutrition situation due to poverty and promote food and nutrition security.
DAY 2 – Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Plenary Session II. Best Practices and Lessons Learned
On the second day of the event, from the magnified effect of double burden and the effect of physical activity, five (5) resource persons shared their experiences on different modalities that they have utilized to lessen the effects of malnutrition in their respective areas.
Status of Non-Communicable in the Western Pacific Region
In her paper, Ms Julie Hall, Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) to the Philippines emphasize that non communicable disease (NCD) is an epidemic problem and serious threat to life, health and development in the Western Pacific Region. The major NCDs are: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancers and chronic respiratory diseases that accounts for more than 80% of all death in the region. NCDs account for 50% of all premature mortality (under the age of 70) in low- and middle-income countries. She mentioned also that, the main risk factors for NCDs are tobacco usage, unhealthy diets, physical inactivity and the harmful use of alcohol. However, the prevalence of these risk factors in the region is high, and in many countries these risk factors are on the rise. A total of 430 million smokers in the Western Pacific Region or about 1/3 of the total world’s smokers. Through this, a systematic approach that emphasizes control of NCD risk factors and promote access to NCD services in primary health care facilities is required. Strengthening the surveillance framework for NCDs is also mandatory. There is a set of very cost-effective interventions available to assist countries to reach the desirable targets.
Pinggang Pinoy: Technical and Scientific Aspects
Science Research Specialist of the Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Robby Carlo Tan, shared their paper regarding the development of pinggang pinoy as a tool to be used to combat the malnutrition in the country. This graphical representation of the daily intake used was very effective to convey in a simple and understandable way the concept of eating a variety of foods in the right proportion to meet the body’s energy and nutrient needs. It is also recommended to develop another pinggang pinoy for children and other age-group population for a more rigid concept what the plate is all about.
Panel Discussion: Nutrition Labelling
Nutrition Labelling Guidelines
In her paper, Ms. Helena Alcaraz, Center for Food Regulation and Research, Food and Drug Administration, she emphasized that by virtue of Administrative Order No. 2014-0030, the FDA imposed mandatory nutrition labeling on all labels of processed food products since October 2014. Nutrition labeling is seen as a tool to inform all consumers on the nutritional content of a food product. Making this a mandatory signifies that all processing company have to show the nutritional content of the foods that have manufactured. Consumers can use these information about the nutritional value of the food to make a healthier food choices and achieve good health. The mandatory action of the agency is considered as a support mechanism for the Department of Health Healthy Lifestyle Program.
PAN President, Dr. Gemiliano Aligui, showcase his accomplishments to the attendees on the last quarter of the convention. He also discussed the 2014 convention held in Cebu, that experienced too much because of the typhoon that hit the country that time but the convention push through and it was successful because all the expected attendees arrived even though there is a bad weather. He also gave the oath of membership for the new members of the organization.
Ms. Ellen Villate, Chairman of Nomination and Election presented the results for the new PAN Board 2016-2017.
One of the highlights of the closing ceremonies was the awarding of various PAN Awards in recognition of various achievements. These are the PAN Awards for Exemplary Projects and Program launched in 2003 which recognize the implementation of local projects and programs towards the nutritional improvement of children, families and communities. Two of these special citations are PABASA sa Nutrisyon (PSN) and ASIN Award. Only the PASABA sa Nutrisyon awardees were recognized this year.
This year’s recipients of the PSN Awards were 31 local government units (LGU). These award is special due to the fact the LGU who have received the PABASA sa Nutrisyon Exemplary Award and have maintained an efficient and effective implementation for three or four consecutive years were recognized as Hall of Fame Awardees these were the: Municipality of Balilihan, Carmen, Duero in Bohol, Los Banos Laguna and the City of Taguig, The municipalities of Alicia, Lila, Pilar in Bohol, Bacnotan and Naguilian in La Union, Santa Cruz, Laguna and Tagaytay City, Cavite received the Exemplary Award. The Outstanding municipalities are: Agoo, Balaoan Pugo in La Union, Alaminos, Pangil, Pila in Laguna, Batuan, Corella, Mabini, San Miguel, Sierra Bullones, Talibon, Trinidad in Bohol, Kadingilan, Bukidnon, Lanuza, Surigao del Sur, Maddela, Quirino, Nampicuan, Nueva Ecija and City of San Pedro in Laguna and Valencia in Bukidnon take home the bacon. PAN Fellow was also given to the individuals who have contributed significantly to the advancement of the profession in the different fields. This years awardees were: Dr. Juan Antonio Solon for Nutrition Research, Maria Paz de Sagun for Nutrition Promotion and Advocacy and Mark Angelo Lorenzo for Community Nutrition.
Eight students from 8 different universities were the recipients of the Outstanding Student in Nutrition and Dietetics. They were: Paul Alteo Bagaldo Alpha-Omega chapter from University of the Philippines-Los Banos, Arnestie Dalugdog, Alpha Epsilon chapter from the Polytechnic University of the Philippines-Sta. Mesa, Chareena Lou Sapida Beta chapter from Philippine Women University, Flora Oltagon Dulunan Beta-Zeta chapter from Benguet State University, Alexis Tenerife Delta chapter from Centro Escolar University, Dayanara Satorre Sigma Chi chapter from University of the East-Manila, Majelyn Lo Psi Gamma chapter from Colegio de San Juan de Letran and Kathleen Mae de Guzman Alpha chapter from University of the Philippines-Diliman. The PAN Alpha-Omega chapter from the University of the Philippines was the most Outstanding Student Chapter in recognition of its outstanding outreach activities both in the school and in the community and has helped promote the objectives of PAN.
In closing, Dr. Gemiliano Aligui, thanked the sponsors for their continuous generous support to the working committees for their time and unfailing support and cooperation and to the participants for making the 68th convention as a success.