MAP campaign against malnutrition and child stunting
We in the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) recently launched our campaign against malnutrition and child stunting as part of our mission to create a positive impact in nation-building.
Our initiatives in getting our message out there about the urgency of addressing this problem are captured in three main tracks:
1. Educate: Widen awareness, understanding and sense of urgency of the problem
2. Encourage: Advocate and pursue strategic policy reforms
3. Engage: Foster coordinated actions on the ground at the local, community and family levels.
We want to raise the level of awareness and take part in educating the public about this big problem of malnutrition and child stunting facing us, its adverse effects and what can be done to reverse the trend.
We identified four important segments and our messaging will be targeted to their specific concerns and sphere of influence. We will work with the media in promoting awareness among the general public. We will work with the academe and the health sector so they can contribute to providing advice, guidance and technical assistance to our real target population—the mothers, the families and the communities – who, together, are at the front line of raising children.
Beyond awareness, we must work with institutions that can create and sustain an enabling environment to promote better nutrition. The goal is to campaign for stronger advocacy and support for our initiatives to fight malnutrition and child stunting. We want to encourage the private sector, for instance, to include in their corporate social responsibility programs direct initiatives, such as feeding programs, as well as skills building that many of them are doing now anyway. We hope they will do more.
The academe and research groups can enhance our knowhow by continuing research that will give us information on where and how we can do better.
Pushing for policy reforms and legislations that will holistically address malnutrition and child stunting will also help create longer-term solutions to embed nutrition as a continuing agenda for national development.
Last March, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. called on lawmakers to support the national effort to end malnutrition when he launched a World Bank-funded nutrition program that will be rolled out in more than 200 towns nationwide. We can help. We have a deep bench of experts who can join our legislators in crafting the needed legislations.
We can complement the Philippine Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Project initiatives through the programs and activities that we will undertake.
Finally, engagement is what matters most. We want to engage our members, the whole businesses sector and other sectors to help address this campaign through responsible practices and choices: from producing and providing nutritious goods and services; to the conduits that actually go on the ground to implement; to those that can track, evaluate and monitor progress of implementation; and to the national and local authorities who are mandated to undertake and oversee the implementation of these meaningful programs.
MAP will collaborate and partner with all these key players to complement their efforts and initiatives. In the days to come, we shall share more concrete details of our activities through the three internal teams we organized to monitor each track: educate, encourage, engage.
Preventing child stunting matters and it is a global concern. We should be worried and do something urgently because if we don’t, chronic malnutrition will leave 130 million children stunted around the world by 2025. And that is just two years away.
MAP intends to reach out to the agencies overseeing the national malnutrition program, such as the Department of Health, the National Nutrition Council and the Department of Social Welfare and Development on how the private sector can further support the Philippine Multi-sectoral Nutrition Program funded by the World Bank in reversing child stunting trend in the country. We offer our members’ collective strength to be a strategic partner from the business sector.
We can help. And we hope to do more, if given the chance, through MAP’s inclusion in the National Nutrition Council as independent private sector representative.
Each of us is called to action and help save a generation. Being the stewards of our future generation, child stunting is a shared responsibility of each and everyone of us.
We tend to think in terms of big contributions but in the end, the big is a collection of the small – and if we do our parts, every effort will count toward changing our numbers and defining a new future for all of us and those who will come next.
We invite you to join us and be engaged.
The future of our children and our country matters to us – and we certainly hope it matters to all of you, too. Thank you in advance for your contribution in making this initiative work. INQ
This article was lifted from the speech of the author, who is the president of the Management Association of the Philippines at the April 12, 2023 press conference on the MAP Campaign against Malnutrition and Child Stunting. She is the founding partner and CEO of Du-Baladad and Associates.
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