Northern Samar has the highest number of malnourished children in the six provinces of Region 8 (Eastern Visayas), based on 2007 figures, according to Carina Santiago, chief of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in Eastern Visayas.
Of the six provinces in the region, Northern Samar has the highest number of malnourished children at 22,677, followed by Samar with 19,870, she said. Southern Leyte posted the lowest prevalence of malnourished children with only 3,912.
The regional office of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) in Eastern Visayas lamented the lack of interest among local leaders to address the high prevalence of malnourished children in the region.
Santiago said they had met with town and city mayors and their nutrition officers to push for the agency’s nutrition advocacy campaign but it has yet to show results.
“The lack of care among parents also contributes to the problem,” Santiago added. Santiago debunked the perception that the current economic condition could worsen the situation.
“Poverty is not an excuse,” she insisted. The provincial government of Northern Samar, under Gov. Raul Daza, she said, is taking steps in addressing the problem like providing allocation for nutrition-related programs including feeding operations and information drive.
Eastern Visayas is one of the country’s most depressed regions with Northern Samar among its most poverty-stricken provinces.