LEGAZPI CITY, Dec. 6 (PNA) —- Some 250 mothers participated in a breastfeeding congress today, Tuesday, the second to be held this year by the City Health Office (CHO), so that the mothers in the city’s 70 villages could be more aware on proper infant and young child feeding practices.
City Health Officer Fulbert Gillego said the conference held at the Ibalong Conference Room inside the City Hall compound has the theme “First 1,000 days ni Baby Pahalagahan para sa Malusog na Kinabukasan,” (give importance to baby’s first 1000 days for a healthy future).
As in the first breastfeeding congress that was held in July, today’s undertaking is in coordination with the Department of Health (DOH) Bicol.
According to the National Nutrition Council (NNC) the first 1,000 days of a child, which starts from conception and before the second birthday, presents a “golden window of opportunity” for nutrition and related intervention to achieve complete child development.
Gillego urged the mothers in today’s congress to always visit maternity lying-in clinics to be able to monitor the health of their babies.
He also asked the participants to regularly apply the breastfeeding system because the milk of the mothers has antibodies that will coat the intestines of their babies and serve as protection against any infectious diseases.
Gillego told the mothers that breastmilk is easy to digest and has the perfect nutrients for the baby’s health while at the same time ensure bonding of both mother and child.
He also informed the mothers about the danger posed by the Zika virus which can also affect the baby inside the womb of a pregnant mother.
Gillego urged the mothers to always maintain the cleanliness of their surroundings and to destroy all the possible breeding areas of mosquitoes in their villages to prevent the spread of the zika-virus carrying mosquitoes in the community.
During today’s breastfeeding congress, the CHO, along with its partners Luzon Health, a non-government organization and private firm IDEA Inc., provided a range of medical services to all the babies such as free medical consultation, immunization, newborn screening, de-worming and vitamin supplementation.
City Mayor Noel Rosal told participants that breastfeeding practices are not only good for poor mothers but even for rich families because of the health benefits, both for the mother and her baby.
He said the practice can also help reduce poverty incidence in the community because mothers would not need to buy expensive bottled milk.
Aside from conducting a regular breastfeeding congress, the city government provides legislative support for the breastfeeding practice.
The Sangguniang Panglunsod (city council) has enacted ordinance 0021-2015 during its 30th regular session on August 18, 2015 that require big public and private establishments and offices to establish a breastfeeding/lactation station within their premises.
The NNC has been coordinating efforts to achieve the goals of the Early Childhood Care and Development Intervention Package or ECCD-IP which is behind the concept for the “First 1,000 Days program.”
The program’s services that are being provided to local government units seek to reduce mortality and morbidity rates among children 0-23 months old; reduce the prevalence of stunting and wasting among children 0-23 months old; and increase the percentage of children 0-23 months old meeting developmental milestones. (PNA) LAP/GVR/EPS/CBD