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Assessment of the Preparedness of the Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) in Implementing Barangay Nutrition Action Plan in Selected Municipalities in Ifugao, Bulacan, and Siquijor

Ma. Socorro Endrina-Ignacio

Abstract


Background and Objective: The Barangay Nutrition Action Plan (BNAP) is the local version of the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN), the country's directional framework for nutrition improvement. The Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS) spearhead the BNAP implementation. This qualitative study was conducted to assess the preparedness of the BNS in implementing the BNAP in selected municipalities with high and low prevalence of undernutrition in Ifugao, Bulacan, and Siquijor.

Methodology: A total of 57 BNS was purposively selected and consented to participate in a focus group discusssion that elicited information on the following: BNS recruitment process, trainings attended prior to appointment as BNS, and their perception of the BNAP implementation. All the BNS supervisors, the Municipal Nutrition Action Officers (MNAO) were also interviewed using key informant interview guide that elicited information on local training programs for BNS and assessed their level of satisfaction in the performance of their tasks related to planning and implementing the BNAP.

Results and Conclusions: The study revealed that the BNS in the study sites were able to discharge the minimum functions required of them even without the appropriate training prior to assumption to duty. Despite this lack of training, as confirmed by the MNAO, their expressed level of satisfaction on the BNS performance was varied across study areas. The BNS' previous positions, either as Barangay Health Workers (BHW) or Mother Leaders (ML), facilitated their navigation of their roles in the BNAP implementation. BNS' perception of the program inputs that contributed to the positive outcome of the BNAP implementation include the following: political support, functional nutrition committees, MNAO's support, and the BNS enjoying high credibility as source of nutrition information in the community. The program processes that contributed to positive outcome include presence of inter-agency collaboration, collective formulation of the BNAP, and resourcefulness and innovativeness of the BNS in addressing issues related to BNAP implementation.

Recommendation: It is recommended that advocacy be strengthened to expedite the passage of the Magna Carta for BNS that will ensure logistical support to improve the BNAP implementation.


Keywords


Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition, Barangay Nutrition Action Plan, Barangay Nutrition Scholars

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