This is my last issue as editor of the ACFPhilippines Bulletin. After five excitingyears as Country Director of the PhilippineMission, I would, with a heavy heart, haveto bid you all goodbye. By July, as I takeover another ACF Mission, I will be handingover the reins of leadership of thePhilippine Mission to the new CountryDirector,
, who is
currently the mission’s Convenio
Coordinator and Cotabato Head of Base.Thus, allow me a little indulgence in thisissue to talk about what any leader wouldwish to be his or her legacy
.Hunger is a complex global problem.Partnerships with organizations at local,regional, national and international levels,from public, private and civil societysectors, and across all areas of intervention is essential in achieving ourmission and realizing our vision of
a worldwithout hunger
. Partnerships areindispensable in developing effective andsustainable solutions that tackle thecauses and effects of malnutrition.Partnerships are the life blood of ourorganization.In this issue, we look back at our variousengagements in the immediate aftermath
of Typhoon Bopha, the world’s deadlieststorm in 2012. We also take stock of ACF’s
efforts in evaluating the coverage of theintegrated management of acutemalnutrition in Central Mindanao with thehelp of local government partners.As much as I would like to claim that
for the mission ismy legacy, I simply cannot. I feel blessedthat in the last five years, I have beensurrounded by professionals who valuepartnerships as much as I do. I would liketo thank all of my colleagues in ACF,particularly those in the PhilippineMission, for supporting me in pursuingpartnerships built on trust, respect,inclusiveness and collective action. I wouldalso like to thank all our partners forhelping ACF translate these principles intoconcrete actions.
The silent emergency
Acute malnutrition is a silent emergency. Itoccurs when the interplay among the socialstructures is compromised. Damaged healthfacilities, the absence of a health staff andcommunity support group, low to absenceof funding for health, and lack of programsto manage malnutrition will result in poorhealth outcomes.Inadequate and inappropriate food aiddistribution and the lack of a livelihoodsupport program can threaten foodsecurity, leading to an increased risk inmalnutrition and illness.
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In Davao Oriental, consortium partners Merlin UKand Save the Children International were the
implementing partners of ACF’s Integrated
Management of Acute Malnutrition (IMAM). Aspart of the consortium and the Nutrition Cluster,ACF joined in February 2013 as lecturer for theInpatient Therapeutic Program (ITP) training of 15 health center and hospital staff of the threemunicipalities hardest hit by typhoon Bopha inDavao Oriental.In Compostela Valley, five municipalitieshardest hit by Typhoon Bopha became the target
sites of ACF’s Nutrition intervention.
The objectives of the project in were to detect,manage and prevent acute malnutrition amongpregnant and lactating women, and childrenunder five years old.Nutrition surveillance, which involves active andpassive nutrition screening, requires takinganthropometric measurements such as weight,height or length, mid-upper arm circumference(MUAC) and edema checks. At least 200community health workers (i.e. barangaynutrition scholars and barangay health workers)and health center staff were trained onmeasuring and classifying acute malnutritionaccording to the World Health Organization(WHO) 2006 standards.
By Dr. Sally Bataclan, Nutrition Head of Program, Compostela Valley
Leading knowledge and skills exchange
Equipping Consortium Partners, LGUs
ACF leads training on the Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition
Acute malnutrition remains unnoticed untilphysical evidences are obvious. By that time,death is already imminent.Efforts that can prevent and immediatelymanage existing acute malnutrition, and itshealth and mortality implications, can easilybe started when contingency plans such as thestandby emergency response agreement, arein place.
ACF’s standby agreements with AECIDand UNICEF were activated for ACF’s
emergency response to Typhoon Bopha.
The IMAM’s Outpatient Therapeutic Program
(OTP) component attended to themanagement of Severe Acute Malnutrition(SAM) cases. OTP trainings were conductedfor 106 health center staff, composed of municipal health officers, public healthnurses and rural health midwives.Its ITP component addressed the managementof SAM cases with medical complications.Sixty-six health workers in two provincialhospitals
Montevista and Laak CompostelaValley Provincial Hospitals
and one non-residential inpatient facility
in theCompostela Rural Health Unit
benefited fromthe ITP training.
For IMAM’s community mobilization
component, an IMAM orientation, aside fromorganizing community health workers, wasconducted for community leaders in the fivesites, such as the municipal councilors forhealth, barangay captains, leaders of theindigenous people and representatives of theCouncil of Women. The beneficiaries at the10 Parent- and Baby-Friendly Spaces werealso informed about malnutrition and IMAM,and were taught how to perform MUACscreening.
Partnerships areindispensable indeveloping effectiveand sustainablesolutions that tacklethe causes andeffects of malnutrition.