TWO  OUT  OF  FIVE  FILIPINO  CHILDREN  ARE  STUNTED  -  NUTRITION  SURVEY
 
MANILA, NOVEMBER 6, 2007 (STAR) Nearly two out of five Filipino children are stunted because of poor nutrition.

A survey conducted by the Food and Nutrition Research Institute (FNRI) shows that 36.5 percent, or close to two out of five Filipino children, aged six to 10, are short for their age.

Nationwide, this translates to about 3.4 million Filipino children suffering from stunted growth because of inadequate sources of nutrition.

Health experts said these alarming findings explain why many Filipinos manifest poor physical development, poor performance in school and ultimately lower levels of productivity in adulthood.

To help address the problem, Pediatrica Inc., a division of pharmaceutical giant United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab), has stepped up its drive to provide better healthcare for Filipino children and help combat the malnutrition problem in the country.

In a statement, Roberto Muñoz, assistant vice president and general manager of Pediatrica, said the company has put premium on the development of healthcare products and services that would bolster the development of children in their early stage.

Muñoz said the company is at the forefront of research, manufacturing and distribution of children’s healthcare in the country.

Having been affiliated with Unilab, the largest pharmaceutical firm in the country, Pediatrica stands as a major player in the multibillion-peso pediatrics segment of the pharmaceutical industry.

“We recognize the importance of child healthcare. That is why our company sets its sight on this segment by providing vitamin products that cater to them,” Muñoz said. “Proper healthcare should be given early and start from birth.”

According to Pediatrica, only a few companies put premium on the needs of children to augment their growth and height despite the prevalence of children’s vitamins in the local market today.

“That’s why Pediatrica saw this opportunity to launch an advocacy campaign to build a generation of children with strong bones and better height,” the company said.

Pediatrica has launched a growth supplement called Growee as a sustainable intervention to address the problem of “stunted” height among Filipino children.

Growee is a children’s growth supplement that contains Chlorella Height Plus, the growth-enhancing trio of chlorella, Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin D, to provide proper bone and cellular development.

The company has tapped former Olympian and television celebrity-turned-full-time mother Christine Jacob-Sandejas as its product endorser.

“Ms. Jacob-Sandejas embodies what we want the brand to be — a caring mother worthy of emulation when it comes to proper child nourishment,” Muñoz said.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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