Malnutrition in the Philippines


Main causes of Malnutrition in the Philippines. Where there is poverty, there is hunger. Where there is hunger, there is nutrient insufficiency. Where there is nutrient insufficiency, there is malnutrition.

Malnutrition is one of the major health conditions in the Philippines that is widely spread in areas where basic needs are unfortunately met especially food. Most of the affected citizens are the kids. When kids are not provided with good food, this malnutrition occurs. Some people may still do not see this as an alarming situation, but if this gets serious it may lead to death.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH), came up with this – ‘Operation Timbang’. This is a program that requires all kids from 0-10 years old to have monthly weighing as assisted by the health care providers in health stations. Through this, nutritional status of kids will be assessed and those malnourished children will be given priority. There will be a supplemental feeding for malnourished children to be able to meet their target state of nourishment.

Currently, as reported by the DOH, malnutrition case has been decreased. With the help of this program, the status of malnourished children is being monitored in a monthly basis. The health care providers continuously are counselling parents on good nutrition. With this, parents are being taught on ways to help improve nutritional status of their kids by focusing on their daily food intake. We say that the children are our key to a better future, thus preventing malnutrition to children is our way to a better future.


One of the main goals of the health government in the Philippines as included in the Millenium Development Goals (MDG) is to reduce death cases on child mortality or under -5 deaths by year 2015. For several years, the government has its focus on this since this is still an arising health problem even up to the present.

There are still cases of neonatal deaths especially to the poor areas in the country. Indications of increased maternal deaths lead to poor performance also on child’s health. If maternal death cases are increasing, under-5 deaths may even be increasing. A more evident reason for deaths was financial insufficiency which then leads to a non-facility based birth delivery or home birth delivery, poor nutrition and serious diseases.

The government fears on the status of maternal health since it affects the health status of under-five children. Reports from the Department of Health (DOH) state that most death cases are among neonatal group due to poor health practices and lack of information. Public campaigns were made to help promote maternal and child health especially to poor areas where mothers are unaware of the negative effects or dangers of not having prenatal visits and having birth delivery at home.

Currently, practices on health promotion are operating in all centers. Health professionals always advise mothers during prenatal visits to complete TT vaccination, maintain a nutritious diet, and should have birth delivery strictly in a health facility (hopitals or lying ins) with skilled birth attendant (doctos, nurses or midwives). These are for the mother and child’s protection.

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