PH malnutrition similar to Sub-Saharan Africa rate: NGO
Posted at 01/26/16 2:12 PM
Despite claims of notable economic growth in the Philippines, children in Mindanao are suffering from an alarming level of malnutrition comparable to that of Sub-Saharan Africa, a children's rights advocate said.
“What I was surprised about here in the Philippines, given the level of development, given the protection under the law, is really the level of malnutrition that currently exists here in the Philippines,” Save the Children Country Director Ned Olney said on Mornings @ ANC Tuesday.
“Philippines has the 9th largest number of stunted children, so 3.6 million stunted children,” said Olney.
Olney, who has conducted missions for children in various countries, said it is shocking that the malnutrition rate in the country, in Mindanao in particular, is similar to the figures in the Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Mindanao has 40 percent childhood stunting and that is the actual average for Sub-Saharan Africa, and if you look at the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, two-thirds of all children in ARMM are stunted, that’s 66 percent of children, that’s unheard of, that’s refugee camp levels of malnutrition, so it’s really shocking,” he said.
Olney said the height of many Filipinos is proof to the poor state of nutrition, noting that the Philippines was recently named as the second shortest in the ASEAN region.
With this, Olney is encouraging 2016 election candidates to prioritize the issue of malnutrition.
“We would encourage that to be one of the priority issues of any new government when they come in, to address the issue of malnutrition,” he said.