To combat COVID-19 and reduce the prevalence of malnutrition, especially in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAS), the Department of Science and Technology Region XI through the Provincial Science and Technology Center in Davao del Sur (PSTC - DS) and in partnership with the Cor Jesu College - Br. Polycarp iComDev Foundation Inc (CJC - BPICDFI), successfully deployed two (2) units of foot - operated handwashing kiosks, two (2) units foot baths, one (1) unit blood pressure monitoring device, and supplementary feeding supplies to Barangay Saliducon, Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. The turnover of healthcare devices held last month is as part of the implementation of the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology (CEST) Program.
The deployment was spearheaded by PSTC-DS Officer-in-charge, Leah G. Mayol, together with the PSTC-DS CEST staff, Engr. Rogeren R. Selma, and the Community Engagement Assistant of CJC-BPICDFI, Wendell J. Ortiza.
Along with the deployment of health-related equipment, the PSTC-DS and CJC-BPICDFI continue to provide science and technology (S&T) interventions through the 120-day supplementary feeding program in Saliducon Day Care Center that started last 4 February 2022. Meals provided in the said feeding program included DOST-developed fortified food products such as the Iron Fortified Rice, Enhanced Nutribun, and Rice Mongo Crunchies.
Based on the recent health monitoring of the students, 11 out of 30 underweight children are now in the normal weight condition, while the rest have shown improvement in their health status.
The activity is part of DOST’s response to the needs of the community especially during the New Normal while attuned with United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on Good Health and Well Being (SDG 3).
DOST XI continues to empower communities in GIDAs through the CEST program by providing a package of S&T interventions in health and nutrition, water and sanitation, basic education and literacy, livelihood/economic enterprises, and disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. CEST is a nationwide program of the DOST that is being implemented by DOST regional offices to create livelihood opportunities and address the basic needs of communities to uplift their status and improve their lives. (DOST XI S&T Information and Promotion)