Connect with us

NewsMakers

Pilipinas Kontra Gutom helps lower hunger incidence in the country

Pilipinas Kontra Gutom is a multi-sectoral movement of Task Force Zero Hunger with the public sector and 80 partner members from private corporations and non-government organizations working hand in hand to address the country’s concerns on involuntary hunger – food production and distribution, malnutrition, food surplus and immediate food needed during times of disasters.

Published

on

More than a year after its launch in November 2020, Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (PKG) partners share  milestones towards the movement’s goal of less hungry Filipinos.

Pilipinas Kontra Gutom is a multi-sectoral movement of Task Force Zero Hunger with the public sector and 80 partner members from private corporations and non-government organizations working hand in hand to address the country’s concerns on involuntary hunger – food production and distribution, malnutrition, food surplus and immediate food needed during times of disasters.

Four-Fold Mission

Divide and conquer is one of the guiding principles of the movement. Multi-sectoral working groups were set up targeting specific beneficiaries and focused on different priorities toward achieving zero hunger in the country.

First priority is food availability and accessibility with the vision to elevate farming as a dignified, sustainable profession among smallholder farmers and other food producers. The goal is to increase farmer income by as much as 20% in the first year and double productivity by 2025. Key programs include the expansion of value chain projects by partner companies through capacity building and logistics improvement in the farm-to-consumer process.   

Second is the nutrition adequacy goal. The group is eyeing zero undernourished Filipino children across all households by 2030. The key program to drive this objective involves a sustainable, nutrition education program for pregnant mothers that guides them during the first 1000 days of a child and teaches them how to build a healthy food culture at home through nutritious, delicious yet budget-friendly recipes for the family. 

Food assistance and security during disasters is the third priority of the movement. A strengthened and synchronized public and private sectors’ disaster response initiatives during disasters to ensure efficient food distribution is the end in mind. 

Food banking is the landmark project for availability and assistance which is the fourth priority. The aim is to establish an effective food banking system in Metro Manila that will help supply and ensure a sustainable flow of food to communities in need. 

Milestones

On food availability and accessibility, 4,000 farmers and agripreneurs have been assisted through programs such as Nestle and GIZ’s Project Coffee+, TESDA-Nestle’s Coffee Farmer Scholarship Program, Cargil’s Yellow Corn Project with Aboitiz, Cargill, Bayer, Pilmico, Vitarich, Save the Children and PPSA, and Learning Series led by Jollibee Group Foundation with Harbest and PPSA.  These initiatives have benefitted communities in Cagayan, Bukidnon, Sultan Kudarat and CAR, and helped enable local growers with capacity building, best practices on value chain, and income growth assistance. For the Corn Project alone, improved production and resiliency resulted in corn farmers increasing income by at least 10%. For Project Coffee+, the average yield of 1,500 coffee farmers has doubled and the average income has tripled.

Another program that helps with food availability and accessibility is Feed Back, a community-based vegetable exchange, that helps solve hunger in just 5 weeks. It creates a path for families to source food from their backyards, exchange excess produce with their neighbors, and sell to their own community, nearby villages and towns.  The program paves way to new entrepreneurs and new local, regenerative and equitable food systems. To date, 11 communities have graduated from Feed Back and 26 communities are currently starting or implementing it. Community partnerships grew by 5x and span 7 provinces. In the 37 communities, ARK Feed Back is helping a total of 9,785 families and transforming 43,742 lives.

On nutrition adequacy, Kain Tayo Pilipinas, a public-facing campaign, had been launched last July 2021 to promote public awareness of the issue of malnutrition and drive participation in the advocacy through donations. The campaign raised a total amount of PHP 1.5 million to date from individual public donors and corporate donations from Fluor, Greenbulb Communications, Johnson & Johnson, McDonald’s, Publicis Groupe, Teleperformance and Unilever. More than P25 million worth of media values were also given by ABS-CBN, GMA and Facebook for the campaign. Details of the campaign can be found at kaintayopilipinas.com. The donations will be used to fund the roll-out of the First 1000 days nutrition education program in hotspot areas under the adequacy goal. 

On-ground partners World Food Programme, Gawad Kalinga, Kabisig ng Kalahi, Rise Against Hunger, Project Pearls, ABS-CBN Foundation, GMA Foundation, Department of Social Welfare and Development, and Nutrition Council of the Philippines have all been trained on the First 1000 days nutrition education materials and how to cascade to their beneficiaries.

In the area of assistance during times of crisis, the group collaborates with local and national organizations, corporations, civil society groups and local government units to execute efforts for the victims of calamities, and pre-evacuation for typhoon affected families.

In November 2020, PKG founding members – Coca-Cola, Dole Philippines, Johnson & Johnson Philippines, McDonald’s, Metrobank and San Miguel, initially pledged 100,000 meals for identified communities in NCR and key priority areas. To date, 110, 765 meals have been distributed.

A Mobile Kitchen was set up in Eastern Visayas to provide nutritious meals to 1,000 children for a month-long period. As of today, a total of 27,000 meals were already distributed. Communities in Jipapad, Hirnani and San Julian, Eastern Samar were covered by this initiative.

In addition, Kain Tayo sa Pasko Hot Meals donation drive which ran from November 2021 to February 2022 was able to provide 1,900 noche buena packages, 11,230 meals, 132,076 assorted items (milk, chocolates, peanut butter, sinigang mixes), and 28,992 canned goods have been distributed to beneficiaries. These areas include NCR, Cebu, Davao, Dinagat Islands, Ifugao, Iloilo, Pampanga, Siargao, and Surigao.

Meanwhile, 63,600 meals and 11,714 food packs were served in affected areas in Visayas and Mindanao for Typhoon Odette efforts. Agusan Del Norte, Bohol, Cebu, Dinagat Islands, Eastern Samar, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Negros Oriental, Palawan, Leyte, Southern Leyte, Surigao and Siargao are the areas reached by the Typhoon Odette efforts.

These were made possible through the contributions of Century Pacific, Coca-Cola, Dole Philippines, Gawad Kalinga, Johnson & Johnson, Jollibee Group Foundation, Manila Water Foundation, Metrobank Foundation, Mondelez, Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation, RFM, Ronald McDonald House Charities, San Miguel Corporation, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines, Tanging Yaman Foundation and Unilever.

On availability of food surplus and repurposing it through assistance, a food bank portal has been set up by this team where companies and groups can key in their food surplus to be distributed via the Assistance workstream. Through the collaboration of DOLE, Grab, San Miguel Corporation, URC, Scaling Up Nutrition and Supply Chain Management Association of the Phils., the goal is to establish an effective food banking system that will help supply and sustain food to communities in need. 

Lahat kasali, lahat kasalo.

To date, the movement has reached more than 450,000 Filipinos across its four-fold mission where incidences of hunger and malnutrition are high. 

In a recent PKG gathering, Task Force Zero Hunger Chair, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles shared that the hunger incidence in the country has improved. “The Philippines also improved its ranking in the 2021 Global Hunger Index. The Philippines ranked 68th out of 116 countries. With a score of 16.8, we have a level of hunger that is moderate. This is a notch higher than in the 2020 GHI when we ranked 69th with a score of 19.0,” shared Chair Nograles. 

PKG invites every Filipino to help. Lahat kasali, lahat kasalo. Individuals may visit kaintayopilipinas.com for details and private corporations, non-profit organizations and groups who would like to be part of the movement may send an email to pkg@ph.mcd.com.

Zest Magazine accepts contributions promoting everything about living the good life (and how to make this so). C'mon, give us a yell.

NewsMakers

5 Steps for women to reduce their risk of COPD

Women tend to develop COPD earlier in life than men and are more likely to have severe symptoms and be hospitalized with the disease. The good news? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk for COPD.

Published

on

If you’re a woman who tries to stay healthy, you may exercise several times per week, watch what you eat and get 7-9 hours of sleep each night. But are you listening to your lungs?

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a leading cause of disability and death in the United States, takes an especially heavy toll on women. You may think problems like shortness of breath, frequent coughs or wheezing are just signs of getting older, but it’s important to pay attention to these symptoms and discuss them with your doctor.

COPD is a serious lung disease that causes breathing problems and worsens over time. It has often been considered a man’s disease. Yet more women than men have been diagnosed with COPD in the past decade, and over the past 20 years more women have died from it, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Women tend to develop COPD earlier in life than men and are more likely to have severe symptoms and be hospitalized with the disease. The good news? According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk for COPD.

Don’t Smoke

You probably already know cigarette smoking is harmful  but did you know that women may be more vulnerable to the effects of smoking? Women who smoke tend to get COPD at younger ages and with less cigarettes smoked than men. COPD is the leading cause of death among U.S. women smokers.

If you do smoke, it’s never too late to quit.

If you thought vaping was a healthy alternative to smoking, think again. Researchers are still learning about the long-term health effects of e-cigarettes, but they may contain as many, if not more, harmful chemicals than tobacco cigarettes.

Avoid Pollutants

Among people with COPD who have never smoked, most are women. Women may be more vulnerable to indoor and outdoor air pollution. Women’s smaller lungs and airways mean the same amount of inhaled pollutants may cause more damage.

Working in places like nail salons, hair salons or dry cleaners can expose you to harmful chemicals. If you’re exposed to chemical fumes at your job, talk to your employer about ways to limit exposure. Better ventilation and wearing a mask can help.

Stay Current on Vaccines

People at risk for COPD are more likely to have serious problems resulting from some vaccine-preventable diseases. Ask a health care provider about getting vaccinated against the flu, pneumococcal disease and COVID-19.

Talk to Your Doctor About COPD

Women with COPD tend to be diagnosed later than men when the disease is more severe and treatments are less effective. If you think you could be at risk, or you are having symptoms, bring it up with your health care provider. Treatment can ease symptoms and improve your ability to exercise.

Learn More to Breathe Better

Find more information on COPD from NHLBI’s Learn More Breathe Better program at copd.nhlbi.nih.gov.

Continue Reading

NewsMakers

2 Steps to save a life

“By equipping people with Hands-Only CPR training, we are empowering them to spring into action if a loved one needs help, as the majority of cardiac arrests occur at home.”

Published

on

More than 350,000 sudden cardiac arrests occur annually outside hospital settings. However, a hands-on emergency intervention like cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), especially if performed immediately, can double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

According to the American Heart Association, 70% of cardiac arrests – electrical malfunctions in the heart that cause an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) and disrupt the flow of blood to the brain, lungs and other organs – occur at home, but often family and friends who witness a child, spouse, parent or friend going into cardiac arrest hesitate to perform potentially lifesaving CPR for fear of making the situation worse.

“By equipping people with Hands-Only CPR training, we are empowering them to spring into action if a loved one needs help, as the majority of cardiac arrests occur at home,” said Dr. Anezi Uzendu, M.D., interventional cardiologist and American Heart Association volunteer.

As part of its Hands-Only CPR campaign, nationally supported by the Elevance Health Foundation, the American Heart Association aims to increase awareness about the importance of bystander CPR and offers these two simple steps:

1.      Call 911.
2.      Push hard and fast in the center of the chest of the individual experiencing cardiac arrest.

Using the beat of a familiar song with 100-120 beats per minute, such as “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees, can help you stay on pace with the necessary compressions.

“Being able to efficiently perform Hands-Only CPR in the moment can mean the difference between life and death, and by following these two simple steps we can increase someone’s chance of survival from cardiac arrest,” said Shantanu Agrawal, M.D., board certified emergency medicine doctor and chief health officer at Elevance Health. “As a longstanding supporter of the American Heart Association, we remain focused on working together to improve health inequities in our communities by expanding access to training and increasing the number of people who learn and feel confident performing Hands-Only CPR to save lives.”

To find more information, watch a livestream video demonstration of Hands-Only CPR or download a first aid smartphone app, visit heart.org/CPR.

Continue Reading

NewsMakers

What you eat could contribute to your menstrual cramps

Roughly 90% of adolescent girls experience menstrual pain. Most use over-the-counter medicine to manage the pain but with limited positive results. Evidence has highlighted that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in processed foods, oil, and sugar reduce inflammation, a key contributor to menstrual pain.

Published

on

Despite the fact that menstrual pain (dysmenorrhea) is the leading cause of school absences for adolescent girls, few girls seek treatment. An analysis of relevant studies suggests that diet may be a key contributor, specifically diets high in meat, oil, sugar, salt, and coffee, which have been shown to cause inflammation.

Roughly 90% of adolescent girls experience menstrual pain. Most use over-the-counter medicine to manage the pain but with limited positive results. Evidence has highlighted that diets high in omega-3 fatty acids and low in processed foods, oil, and sugar reduce inflammation, a key contributor to menstrual pain.

This analysis was designed to study the effect of diet on menstrual pain and identify which foods contribute to it and which can reduce it. Research was conducted through a literature review that found multiple studies that examined dietary patterns that resulted in menstrual pain. In general terms, these studies found that diets high in omega-6 fatty acids promote inflammation and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids reduce it. The muscles in the uterus contract because of prostaglandins, which are active in inflammatory responses. When measuring the Dietary Inflammatory Index, it was found that those on a vegan diet (that excluded animal fat) had the lowest rates of inflammation.

“Researching the effects of diet on menstrual pain started as a search to remedy the pain I personally experienced; I wanted to understand the science behind the association. Learning about different foods that increase and decrease inflammation, which subsequently increase or reduce menstrual pain, revealed that diet is one of the many contributors to health outcomes that is often overlooked. I am hopeful that this research can help those who menstruate reduce the pain they experience and shed light on the importance of holistic treatment options,” says Serah Sannoh, lead author of the poster presentation from Rutgers University.

“Since menstrual pain is a leading cause of school absenteeism for adolescent girls, it’s important to explore options that can minimize the pain. Something like diet modification could be a relatively simple solution that could provide substantial relief for them,” said Dr. Stephanie Faubion, NAMS medical director.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Like Us On Facebook

Facebook Pagelike Widget

Most Popular

Copyright ©FRINGE PUBLISHING. All rights reserved.