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Malnutrition affects 8,000 Pampanga kids

City Of San Fernando, Pampanga – The Pampanga provincial government has no other recourse but to address hunger after the Department of Education (DepEd) disclosed that there are about 8,000 malnourished children in the province.

In a recent meeting with the Pampanga Governor Lilia G. Pineda, DepEd officials disclosed the alarming state of health of the children in the province, particularly in the fourth district, covering the towns of Minalin, Masantol, Apalit, Candaba, and San Simon.

“This is indeed alarming because the average number of malnutrition cases in the region is supposed to be 1,500,” Pineda said.

“We have to step up efforts, focus on programs for children so we can eradicate malnutrition in the province,” she added.

Pineda said she already directed concerned government agencies to prioritize the health programs for children, and look into the factors behind the increase in malnutrition among children in Pampanga.

She lamented that malnutrition could affect the total health and well-being of every child in the province – unless it is swiftly addressed.

Asked how the provincial government will address the concerns of children seeking medical help from her office, she said it is quite unlikely that among those who will come to request for medical assistance is old people.

“Siguro ‘yung ibang magulang ay nahihiya na mag-report o magpatulong sa kalagayan ng kanilang mga anak,” she said.

For his part, Pampanga 4th District Board Member Ric Yabut attributed the high number of dropouts in his district to malnutrition.

“Minsan po ay 18 lamang ang guma-graduate sa isang batch dahil sa malnutrition,” he said.

As this developed, he urged other provincial officials to help in eradicating malnutrition, stressing that it is a global phenomenon affecting millions of people – mostly children.

Chronic hunger or malnutrition is considered a major health concern because it can cause significant health problems.

People who go hungry all the time are likely to be underweight, weighing significantly less than an average person of their size.

If malnourished as a child, their growth may also be stunted, making them much shorter than average.