[Press Release] Hundreds of Children to ‘Race for Survival’ to end malnutrition -Save the Children

Hundreds of Children to ‘Race for Survival’ to end malnutrition

(Quezon City, Philippines) Hundreds of school children from Metro Manila run today in Save the Children’s ‘Race for Survival’ global relay race. Held at the Quezon City Memorial Circle, the event is calling for equal access to health services and nutrition for children under five years no matter where they are born.

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The 2013 National Nutrition Survey (NNS) reveals that nearly one third (30.3%) of Filipino children 5 years and below are malnourished. It also shows that there has been very little progress in reducing malnutrition over the past years, with rates at around 33% since 2008. The same data highlights that children in the poorest regions are almost twice as likely to die before the fifth birthday.

In Luzon, malnutrition among children remains high due to lack of access to basic health and nutrition services. The risk is even higher during crises and emergencies such as typhoons and conflict situations. In the Visayas, ‘Yolanda’-ravaged Western and Eastern Visayas are among the regions with high prevalence of underweight children.

“Every child should have access to nutritious food and health services. Healthy children will grow up to be productive citizens of this country. With Race for Survival, we are highlighting the need for every child to be within reach of the quality care they deserve,” Ned Olney, country director of Save the Children Philippines Country Office said.

The ‘Race for Survival’ is organized in partnership with child-led groups and national agencies, including DSWD, National Nutrition Council, DOH and Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC). The child participants are putting their running shoes on to say that this is an unacceptable statistic and it has to change.

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Save the Children has been working in the Philippines since 1981. We provide both humanitarian and long-term support, working closely with partners across the country. Save the Children addresses key issues of children in the country by implementing programs in child protection, education, health and nutrition, child rights governance and also supports in times of humanitarian crises.

Save the Children’s ‘Race for Survival’ is a relay race event held simultaneously in 67 countries, including Scotland, India, Canada and Kenya, as part of Save the Children’s Global Day of Action. Over 50,000 children worldwide have participated in this activity to make a statement and clamor for an urgent action to deliver health care and nutrition to EVERY child.

For press access and interviews with Ned Olney for Save the Children, please contact Lany dela Cruz at 09255556290 or email lany.delacruz@savethechildren.org

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