CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Nov. 26 (PIA) --Department of Health Center for Health Development Northern Mindanao (DOH-CHDNM) discussed the challenges of improving the nutritional status of children during "Talakayan sa PIA" media forum on 25 November 2019.
Accordingly, there is still a need to improve the nutritional status of children in the country.
Telesfora G. Madelo, nutritionist dietician of DOH-CHDNM said prevalent problems are the stunting (low in height for age) and obesity among kids in region 10.
She said, among the programs they are pushing for are the Infant Young Child Feeding Program (IYCF) and the Law on the First 1,000 Days.
She explained the importance of breastfeeding and giving children nutritious food using fruits and vegetables.
Through the new law RA 11148 "Kalusugan at Nutrition ng Mag-Nanay Act" (The First 1000 Days Law), Madelo explained this will give local government units the financial support it needs to implement and provide health support to expecting mothers.
DOH said nutrition starts from conception. While the baby is still inside, the mother should already be given with necessary health support by the local government. This could be through regular health checkups and the provision of folic acid and other supplements for free.
But it is still the responsibility of the mother to be careful of her proper nutrition during pregnancy.
Madelo said stunting is irreversible.
Similarly, Gilda C. Ajoc, Nurse V of DOH-CHDNM said through this new law, they are now tasked to locate all pregnant mothers in the region.
In the Republic Act mandated by the law, "We will make a track for the pregnant mothers, and that is called pregnancy tracking, and will look for those pregnant mothers, where do they live in our community, and it is a great challenge to look for them, and give them support and help on how to take care and give their babies a healthy life," Ajoc said.
She added that apart from nutritious food, pregnant mothers should talk to their babies in the womb to develop mental and emotional well-being.
So far, DOH has been active to monitor government hospitals to adapt Mother Baby-Friendly facilities.
This include not just developing breastfeeding stations but particularly making the hospital exclusive only for breastfeeding.
It means that the hospital does not allow canned milk or bottle feeding to their newborns, Ajoc added.
Through the implementation of this law, the call of President Rodrigo R. Duterte for Filipinos to be one of the healthy nations in Southeast Asia by 2024 will be realized. (Jack Deniel V. Castillano-PIA intern)