By Camcer Ordonez Imam
Cagayan De Oro City – One of every five children who are less than five years old in Northern Mindanao have been found to be underweight in 2015, according to the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI).
This was disclosed in the 2015 Updating of the Nutritional Status of Filipino Children which was bared by the FNRI in a recent forum here.
The report said 20.4 percent of children five years old and younger in Northern Mindanao were found to be underweight, representing a 2.8 percent increase from the 17.5 percentage posted in 2013.
Of the malnourished children, Misamis Oriental and Lanao del Norte had the highest number at 22.3 percent followed by Bukidnon with 19.5 percent, the FNRI reported.
But a marked decrease in the number of underweight children was noted in Misamis Occidental from 25.4 percent in 2013 to 15.8 percent in 2015.
In the same bi-annual survey, it was also discovered that 27.6 percent of children between five to 10 years old in Region 10 were found to be malnourished, while 7.3 percent of those aged between 10 to 19 years old were considered obese.
Moreover, 8.4 percent of adults in the same region were found to have chronic energy deficiency.
Meanwhile, it was also found that 74.4 percent of infants in Northern Mindanao were breast-fed within an hour after they were born. Of this figure, 59 percent continued exclusive breastfeeding after five months from birth.
A considerable number of babies, or about 49.7 percent, underwent screening for congenital hypothyroidism, congenital adrena hyperplasia, phenylketonuria, G6PD, galactosemia and maple syrup urine disease after they were born. And by the time they reached two years old, 75.7 percent were fully immunized, 83.1 percent given Vitamin A supplementation, and 72.5 percent dewormed.