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TACLOBAN CITY – At least 63,655 children under five years old in Eastern Visayas are stunted, the National Nutrition Council (NNC) said on Tuesday, citing monitoring reports from local government units.

The number of preschool children with stunted growth represents 14.81 percent of the total 355,004 children measured through the monitoring done by cities and towns in the region this year.

While local officials are busy dealing with the pandemic and other health concerns, fighting stunting should also be given attention by helping communities and families become aware of ways to stop this malnutrition problem, Catalino Dotollo, NNC 8 (Eastern Visayas) nutrition program coordinator, said in a phone interview on Tuesday.

“The case of stunting in the country and the region is alarming. We need to provide very crucial intervention during the first 1,000 days of a child’s life because unlike underweight, the effect of stunting is irreversible,” Dotollo said.