Tuesday, 22 November 2011

MALNUTRITION: Phillipines: I-rice: Key to eradicating malnutrition by 2015

Easter Anne Doza BACOLOD CITY, Nov. 16 (PIA) -- According to the Food and Nutrition Rice Institute (FNRI), iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is still a public health concern in the Philippines. In the latest 2008 National Nutrition Survey conducted by the FNRI, IDA is prevalent among children 6 months to less than 1 year, pregnant and lactating mothers.
Thus, NFA-Negros Occidental is conducting a series of advocacy campaigns on Iron-Fortified Rice that would encourage consumption of iron fortified rice. NFA Provincial Manager Marianito Bejemino said that I-Rice was designed to curb malnutrition especially among children.
“I-rice is priced the same as ordinary NFA rice. Generally, there is no change in taste, it's just psychological since I-rice is somewhat yellowish in color but that’s what makes it nutritious because of the yellow grains containing iron rice premix,” Bejemino said. He added that it has slowly gained acceptability since it was launched two years ago.
Provincial Nutritionist Alice Matti revealed that the government targets to eradicate malnutrition by the end of 2015 to reach the Millennium Development Goal, thus, it launched the micronutrient supplementation especially to children and mothers in their productive age from 15 to 49 years old.
In Negros Occidental, 8 out 100 children are malnourished and in Western Visayas 61 out of 100 mothers are anemic, 44 out of 100 pregnant mothers are anemic while those children below five years old 29 out of 100 are anemic, Matti added.
This means that there is Vitamin A deficiency, IDA, and iron deficiency disorder among these children and mothers.
The Philippine Food Fortification Law of 2000 or the Republic Act 8976 calls for the mandatory fortification of staples such as rice, flour, cooking oil, and refined sugar, among other food. (JSC/EAD-PIA6 Negros Occidental)

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