CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Aug. 14 (PIA)--Primarily geared towards saving lives and upholding the well-being of mothers and babies, the Department of Health Center for Health Development in Northern Mindanao (DOHCHD-NM) together with the Commission on Population and Development (Popcom) steps up their campaigns on breastfeeding and family planning.
Advocating family planning
During the Talakayan sa PIA, August 9, Popcom Regional Director Jeremias Gupit said the National Family Planning Month is a celebration that centers on the attainment of a better quality of life for the mother, the father and the family as a whole.
The commission together with the DOH lead the efforts to raise awareness and access of people to various family planning methods.
As for teenage pregnancy, Gupit said from January to June 2019, they have recorded a total of 4,336 teenage pregnancy cases thus, they are intensifying their school to school campaigns to heighten awareness of the youth on the risks of early sexual intercourse.
The regional director further said the commission strengthens the Adolescent Health and Development Program (AHDP), one of the key component programs of the Philippine Population Management Program (PPMP) to contribute to the improvement and promotion of the total well-being of young Filipinos ages 10-14; 15-19 and 20-24 through their sexual and reproductive health.
Strengthening breastfeeding in R10
Recording 69.2 percent in 2018 which is relatively higher than the 65.1 percent in 2017, timely breastfeeding initiation in the Philippines is setting a good mark but there is still a need to intensify the campaign since the country has already attained 77.1 percent breastfeeding initiation in 2013, Shiella Balbanida, Department of Education (DepEd) nutritionist, said.
For her part, Fe Sumagpao of DOHCHD-NM said to aid in the breastfeeding campaign, it is very important that the government should ensure that mothers have access to a parent friendly workplace to protect and support their ability to continue breastfeeding upon return to work by having access to breastfeeding breaks; a safe, private, and hygienic space for expressing and storing breastmilk; and affordable childcare.
For Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Dr. Cristilda Villapane sai.d noting such need for lactating mothers, the hospital ensures a good haven for them.
With the strict implementation of breastfeeding in NMMC, they have earned the mother-baby friendly hospital distinction as they transformed all health facilities with maternity and newborn services into facilities that fully protect, promote, and support rooming-in, breastfeeding and mother-baby friendly practices.
In Deped, Balbanida said they are monitoring the establishment of lactation spaces or rooms in schools to make sure that faculty and staff of the institutions could still practice breastfeeding even if they are at work.
DOH and Popcom urge the participation of the whole nation in the celebration of Breastfeeding and Family Planning Month by taking part in the various school and community-based campaigns of the agencies set for the entire month of August. (Recthie T. Paculba/PIA10)