Malnutrition is one of the common health problems of the IP Children in Bukidnon. 198 malnourished children among four (4) schools and two (2) communities from the three (3) municipalities of San Fernando, Kitaotao and Quezon were documented by the Medical Action Group (MAG). These malnourished children were provided with nutritional support like wet feeding and multivitamins for three months. The Rural Health Unit (RHU) of Kitaotao headed by Dr. Madel Andres and the Committee of German doctor conducted a medical check-up and deworming to monitor and determine the progress of the health condition of the children.
To easily facilitate the feeding program, a core group was formed by the parents to assist the daily cooking activity. The teachers, Barangay Health Workers (BHW), the Barangay Council and community leaders took part in the activity and provided guidance and monitoring to ensure the smooth implementation of the feeding program. Parents also contributed vegetables in addition to the feeding supplies to accommodate normal children. As a result, 130 children improved their health status and 68 remain undernourished due to some reasons like illness, school tardiness, house location, implementation of feeding at the end of school year and the involvement of children in mining area. These resulted to the increase of absences in the feeding activity and school classes.
The feeding program will resume this September. OPT for the primary baseline data is being conducted to determine who are among the children is malnourished. Policies were also discussed among parents, teachers and BHW and Barangay council member to ensure that the parents and the malnourish children will actively participate in the feeding activity and complete the three-month feeding program. MAG Bukidnon staff members are looking forward to the success of the feeding program in the partner school and communities in the target areas and would replicate the success and experiences in other Indigenous Peoples (IP) areas in Bukidnon.