MIRI: An outreach programme to highlight the importance of nutrition among children and members of the public was held today at Kampung Tudan Phase 4 and 5.
Organised by the Miri Division health department, it was aimed at promoting community awareness and provided health education materials that are fun and informative to the parents, preschool teachers and children.
The event was a collaboration Miri Community Development Department (KEMAS) and Village Development & Safety Committee (JKKK) Kampung Tudan Phase 4 and 5.
The outreach program targeted children under six years old, parents, government preschool teachers and the local community.
Various activities were held such as weight/height screenings among children, health screening for adults, pap smear test; a routine screening procedure for cervical cancer and breast examination for women; a screening method used in an attempt to detect early breast cancer, healthy nutritious food cooking demonstrations, interactive nutrition themed games, colouring contests for children, health quiz, exhibition and health promotion talks.
The findings from Malaysia National Health and Morbidity Survey (NHMS) 2019 reported one in five children below the age five years old has low weight problems and found to have stunted physical growth parameters.
Children having such problems complicated with malnutrition are observed to have lower IQs, less active physically and become at risk for development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart diseases when they grow up to become adults.
The Malnutrition Children Rehabilitation Programme (PPKZM) was launched by Ministry of Health Malaysia in 1989 as a proactive public health initiative to improve the nutritional status of children aged between six months to five years identified from socioeconomically deprived families.
The program gives nutritious food assistance to children with stunted physical growth parameters identified from very poor families so that they can achieve optimal physical and mental growth.
From year 2018-2022 (5-years) in Miri Division, total 375 children have been enrolled under PPKZM program and average 75 children per year are benefitting directly under this public health intervention from Miri Division health department.
Miri Division health department also collaborated with respective local councils from Miri, Subis, Marudi, Beluru and Long Lama to place a friendly children’s height measuring board at selected public parks. It allows children visiting the selected public parks to measure their heights as a fun activity with parents.
The health department continuously advocate for healthy nutritious food preparation and consumption through various activities at health clinics, communities and social media platforms.