Assessment of Barangay Nutrition Program Implementation in Selected Municipalities in Ifugao, Bulacan and Siquijor: Community Partners’ Perspectives

Ma. Socorro Endrina- Ignacio

Department of Nutrition, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila

Objectives. To characterize the implementation of BNAP in selected barangays in the chosen municipalities in Ifugao, Bulacan and Siquijor. It hopes to a) identify nutrition strategies that worked and did not work based on the perception of the nutrition program beneficiaries and b) identify factors that may have contributed to the accomplishment and non-accomplishment of nutrition program objectives.

Methods. One hundred thirty seven (137) community partners (i.e.mothers with children less than 5 years old) consented to be the respondents in a focus group discussion. The FGD Guide was used to  elicit: a) awareness of barangay nutrition activities focused on their experiences during participation, strong and weak points on how the activities are conducted, b) perception of nutrition activities, perceived benefits derived from participating in nutrition activities and extent of involvement, and c) suggestions to improve and sustain the implementation of barangay nutrition program and their committed role to improve its implementation. Appreciative inquiry approach was used to elicit respondents’ satisfaction on the effect of nutrition program on children’s health.

Results. In general, the respondents across all study barangays, regardless of the prevalence of undernutrition, are aware of the nutrition activities being implemented in their respective barangays and claimed that they have participated in various nutrition interventions implemented by the barangay nutrition scholars (BNS). Some of the reported and observed “positive” effects of nutrition activities in the study barangays  include: children’s weight improved, learned to eat vegetables and appetite improved-no longer a picky eater, and mothers learned more nutritious recipes to serve their family. Some respondents however, think otherwise, because their children are still underweight, became more sickly after receiving vaccination and have not observed any improvement in the nutritional status of the children in their barangay.

Conclusion. Variations in the BNAP implementation were observed in this study. The nutrition program components that distinguish the low and high prevalence municipalities were evident based on the respondents’ reported activities. The variety of nutrition activities were dependent on the adequacy of logistical support and commitment of the BNS in pursuing what is indicated in the BNAP as crucial to improve nutrition program management. However, unique program elements as experienced by some coming from low or high prevalence barangays cannot be used to explain the effect of the program in terms of nutritional status of the preschool children  as reflected in the annual OPT and hence cannot be isolated.  The inputs (i.e. barangay logistical support) and processes (i.e. nutrition activities) considered critical in program management are similarly found in both low and high prevalence provinces and municipalities.  Across all study areas, respondents find the nutrition advice given by the BNS helpful in the care of their children. It can be concluded that the planned nutrition activities in the BNAP anchored on PPAN are known and participated in by the respondents. The nutrition activities were aligned and consistent with what is reflected in the BNAP, are aligned with the MNAP and to some extent to PPAN.

Key Words: PPAN, BNAP, Barangay Nutrition Program Assessment, Localization of PPAN