"Widespread Campaign on Proper Nutrition – the Philippines" is an excellent example of a paper on food and nutrition. The Philippines is a Southeast Asian country with a land area of approximately 300, 000 km2. Its total population as of 2008 is 91, 983, 000. It was colonized by Spain and the US, before being destructed by Japan during World War II. Prevailing religions are Catholic and Muslim, and language is Filipino. The government is democratic, and the local government units start from the regions, the provinces, the cities, the municipalities, and the barangays.
Industries include agriculture, outsourcing, and overseas working. Of the total government budget, health is provided with 13%. According to the World Health Organization (2011), almost 40% of Filipino children under the age of five have stunted growth, while more than 30, 000 of them die per year. Most of these children live in rural areas and/or belong to the poorest 20% of the country. The top three causes of child mortality were pneumonia (12%), congenital abnormalities (6%), and diarrhea (5%). Compared to its neighboring countries, the Philippines fair poorly on several health parameters.
Only 62% of births were attended by skilled health personnel, compared to 92% regional percentage. In addition, contraceptives are being spread less extensively in the Philippines (51%) than in other countries (78%). Plan of Action Widespread campaign on proper nutrition Malnourished individuals have a generally weaker body that makes them, especially women and children, susceptible to the attacks of disease-causing agents, increasing morbidity and mortality. Because of the harrowing data on the growth of children, it is likely that Filipinos have problems in providing adequately nutritious food on the table.
Thus, the program should focus on informing households on what is healthy, how can available food be made healthy, what food preparations are necessary, etc. The focus should be given on economically challenged families, who usually do not have the means to serve good food to their children, and who may be uneducated due to poverty. Health education seminars should thus be provided. One plan is to tap medical students to teach and train barangay health workers, who in turn go to their respective barangays to teach proper nutrition to his/her community.
This should be the primary focus of the program as the effects of malnutrition can be manifested even at later stages of life. Cleaner neighborhood As important to providing proper nutrition is providing a cleaner environment for the population, may it be in school, in their own homes, in their barangays, and in public areas. The environment is a serious problem for this country, as 2 out of 3 leading causes of under 5 children mortality are infectious and vector-borne diseases that can be curtailed through a healthier environment. The plan for this particular focus is to elicit responsibility among the community.
Segregation and proper disposal of trash are just some of the things that should be demanded from the community. In turn, the government should clean up the creeks and public places to prevent flooding that caused the recent increase of Leptospirosis occurrence (Crisostomo, 2011). Hygiene Next to a cleaner environment is the promotion of good hygiene, especially among school children. Since several schools in the Philippines do not even have the proper resources to promote cleanliness of the body among the students, the focus of this agenda is to provide every school with hand soap, a clean water source, and functional restrooms.
Clean public restrooms for both males and females should also be advised from every municipality in the country. Better reproductive care Because of the continuously growing population, better reproductive care should be promoted. This agenda supports the Reproductive Health Bill currently being debated in the Congress of the Philippines and being vigorously fought by the Catholic Church.
This Bill states that contraceptives should be made available to the public, and age-appropriate sex education should be taught in schools. Through this, unwanted pregnancies that contribute to the growing population will be decreased, and the continuing spread of sexually-transmitted diseases (STDs) will be decelerated. Care for pregnant women and the newborn Since many Filipinas do not receive appropriate health care from the time of conception to delivery, this agenda suggests the government to mandate every expectant mother to visit their respective barangay health center.
This means that all pregnancy should be properly be guided by skilled health personnel. Regular check-ups should be included, to teach mothers stress relief, to provide prenatal care, and to identify cases of abnormalities in pregnancy. Mandated and subsidized immunization To further boost the immune system of susceptible children, all children should be provided with a complete set of vaccination. Although the government is doing a fair job in providing vaccinations, continuous effort should be ensured to prevent sudden outbreaks of diseases. First aid Because the Philippines also have problems when it comes to the availability of health facilities, especially in rural and poor areas, this program deems it necessary that the government should support teaching the community basic first aid.
The idea behind this agenda is that with early intervention, death-causing events such as accidents, heart attacks, and strokes, will be decreased in number. Better healthcare access As said earlier, functional health facilities in the Philippines are lacking. As well, the cost of healthcare in the Philippines is not afforded by the poorest 20% of the country.
Thus, universal health care should be provided and supported. Although it needs a lot for this to be achieved the most basic steps that the government should focus on are 1) promotion of careers in the public health sector, with increased compensation for those who choose to work at the poorest areas, 2) increased number of health facilities, and 3) subsidization of vaccinations, medical consultation, medicines, medical procedures, and hospitalization. As can be seen, the 8-point agenda needs a lot of dedication and budget from the government.
It may be time for the current people in the office to consider increasing the fraction of the national budget dedicated to health. In particular, they may consider transferring funds from the Armed Forces and Police to those cloaked with a white coat and geared with a stethoscope.
Crisostomo, S. (2011). DOH bares 65.4% rise in leptospirosis cases. Retrieved at: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=705798&publicationSubCategoryId=75
World Health Organization (2011). Philippines: health profile. Retrieved at: http://www.who.int/countries/phl/en/