Stories of Change

Local govt addresses malnutrition in remote public school

 February 20, 2018    

by Darlene P. Motil


LABANGAN, ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR — CheckMySchool, through coordinator Faye Reyes, brought to public attention the case of severe malnutrition in a public school in Zamboanga Del Sur. The Philippine Daily Inquirer reported the story of Jonathan Oya, a Grade 3 student from the town of Labangan who suffered from severe malnutrition


Faye story


When Jonathan stopped showing up in school, his teachers visited him in his residence. They found out that he was suffering from chronic diarrhea that led to the deterioration of his health and became severely malnourished. Glenda Doliente, the district nurse, was the first to respond and brought Jonathan to the hospital. He died two days after.


Joel Arnejo, head of Glab Elementary School, said in the Inquirer interview that Jonathan’s case was not isolated. In their school, 26 of the 154 students suffered from severe malnutrition; 12 are classified as “severely wasted”, 14 “wasted”.


The local government of Labangan received Jonathan’s story and responded immediately by calling for a local health board meeting. In the meeting, Mayor Eduardo Relacion “announced the setting up of a satellite office of the rural health unit for villagers in remote areas”.


Faye climbs Glab


Malnutrition remains to be a major problem in the country and it negatively affects access to education, especially in the marginalized rural areas. It is an issue that needs be seriously addressed.


Reyes, in her Facebook post, encourages people to do what can be done. “Let’s work on this together so there will be no more Jonathan’s,” she said.





This issue was featured in the Philippine Daily Inquirer article “Zambo del Sur’s Jonathan Oya: The face of severe malnutrition“. 


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