The most serious and chronic nutritional problem in the Philippines is protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) amongst pre-school children. Karl Molina working with local government organisations has recognised that malnutrition is a key impediment to human resource development. Early malnutrition can lead to stunted physical growth, reduced energy to learn, higher incidence of illness and occasionally even death. Karl recognises that the prevalence of malnutrition is the consequence of a complex group of factors often found in developing countries. The Philippines does not suffer from a lack of food but it does suffer from poor intra-familial food distribution.
Karl's initiative will focus on a number of key areas:
1.Nutrition Information and Education - targeting mothers of malo-nourished pre-school children with a goal to increase the mother's knowledge and improve their child feeding practices
2. Health Protection - introduce medical services to moderately and severely undernourished pre-schoolers susceptible to infection
3. Food Assistance - introduce supplementary feeding programmes and promote locally available food commodities
4.Food Production - promote backyard and and school gardens to increase household consumption of more highly nutritious foods.
This project is a challenging one as changing dietary practices maybe the most difficult of human behaviours to change. A quick and easy cure is not likely but details of Karl's ongoing assessment and strategy will be posted here
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