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Open Access The Philippine micronutrient supplementation programme

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The Philippine micronutrient supplementation programme covers the three major international micronutrient deficiency problems: vitamin A, iron, and iodine. Supplementation is administered through provision of capsules and liquid preparations. There are two major occasions during which universal supplementation is conducted: National Immunization Day and National Micronutrient Day. On National Immunization Day, initially vitamin A supplements were given together with several vaccines. Starting in 1996, immunization was restricted to polio vaccine. Various types of micronutrient interventions are included in National Micronutrient Day, such as distribution of vegetable seeds and cuttings to promote home food production, education on proper nutrition, testing of salt for iodine, distribution of iodized salt to poor families, and promotion of fortified foods. Various health-related activities are also included. The existence of a well-functioning health infrastructure facilitated the establishment of the distribution system. Supplementation centres manned by volunteers were set up in neighbourhoods throughout the country. International organizations and other national governmental agencies contributed resources, not only to purchase supplements, but also to provide promotional materials and expertise in social mobilization. There was full media participation in the implementation of the programme. Funding limitations have led programme planners to prioritize target groups for supplementation. The campaign approach has been very effective for increasing the coverage levels for vitamin A and iodine capsules to well above 80% on average. There is the need to develop an effective record system at the field level to reduce the possibility that children will get high-dose supplements too frequently, which could result in toxicity.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation.

    The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.

    Food and Nutrition Bulletin's 2012 Impact Factor: 2.106

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