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Friday, July 15, 2016

DOH holds media forum on NSDD, other health programs

By Alma L. Tingcang

IPIL, Zamboanga Sibugay - To update the media on the various activities being conducted by the Department of Health IX, a media forum on National School Deworming Month (NSDM), Nutrition Month celebration and School-Based Immunization (SBI)was held on July 13 at Roderics Resort here.

Ms. Evelyn Capistrano, DOH-9 Nutrition Coordinator explained the importance of good nutrition as we celebrate the 42nd Nutrition Month which focuses on the theme "First 1000 days ni baby, Pahalagahan para sa malusog na kinabukasan!"

Capistrano said according to the NNC survey of 2013, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Norte has high prevalence of malnutrition and stunted growth. As such, there is a need to refocus efforts especially on the first 1000 daysof a child.

“If we give primacy on the first 1,000 days, children would develop normally and do not become a problem of society. When a child is not given proper nutrition on the first 1000 days, the opportunity will never come back,” she lamented.

She also cited government interventions during pregnancy which includes: prenatal care with four visits during the whole period of pregnancy; delivery must be in the hospital or birthing clinic; must be given the needed immunization for pregnant women available for free  in health centers. Good nutrition is also equally important.

The nutritionist added that exclusive breastfeeding should be practiced for the first six months, after which complementary foods may be added.

She noted that a feeding program for pregnant women is being done in Zamboanga City to address malnutrition during pregnancy. She enjoins other LGUs to follow the good practice set by the city.

The establishment of lactation stations in malls, airports, terminals, hospitals, RHUs and other institutions, where mothers have the privacy of breastfeeding their baby is also being pushed by the DOH. To date, the province has lactation stations in GARBEMCO, ZAMSURECO II, Wilter Palma Hospital in Diplahan, RHU Naga and Kabasalan Integrated Bus Terminal.

Capistrano also underscored the vital role of media in information dissemination to dispel any negative comments or reactions of the public as in the case of the first deworming in July, 2015 which caused parents to panic.

Meanwhile, the National School Deworming Month will be done in August, this year as revealed by Ms. Maria Raiza C. Anino. The program is conducted in partnership with DOH, DILG and DepEd.

Anino called on parents to support the activity and ensure that children have a full meal before being given the deworming pills. DOH has taken all the necessary measures to prevent the occurrence of confusion and commotion like what happened in July last year.

DOH-9 records show that512,130 or 81.28 percent of schoolchildren from kinder to grade 6 in public elementary schools were given deworming pills last January 27, 2016 during the National School Deworming Day (NSDD).Starting July this year, NSDD will become NSDM.

On the other hand, the school-based immunization that  will be done in August was discussed by Ma. Victoria Arquiza, which targets to protect school children from the consequences of measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria.