The Pacific Community’s (SPC) Public Health Division (PHD) has published a handbook for health professionals and educators on Pacific guidelines for healthy infants and children under five years of age.
Over the past decades, childhood overweight around the world has tripled, reaching a total of 340 million children and adolescents who are overweight or obese today – therefore creating a public health crisis. In Pacific Island Countries and Territories (PICTs), the prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents are substantial with approximately 50% overweight and 30% obese in some countries.
Good nutrition is paramount to prevent young children from what is collectively known as the ‘triple burden of malnutrition’: overweight/obesity, undernutrition and micronutrient deficiencies – with all three having negative impacts on a child’s health and development. The first 1000 days of life and up to five years of age is a critical period to ensure optimum nutrition is obtained to provide a good foundation for lifelong heath and development, and a reduction in the risk of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in later life.
Dr Si Thu Win Tin, team leader for NCD Prevention and Control Programme at PHD says, “SPC advocates and promotes tools that are evidence based, culturally acceptable, and relevant to improve health outcomes on people of the Pacific.”
This handbook is for health professionals and educators to deliver standardised and quality nutrition care that is informed by international guidelines, while suitable for the Pacific context to strengthen capacity of PICTs to achieve the global nutritional targets.
The Pacific Guidelines for healthy infants and children under five years of age is available on: http://purl.org/spc/digilib/doc/m8gmg