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‘Practice breastfeeding, save lives,’ health department says

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.

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, Shiella Balbanida, Department of Education (DepEd) nutritionist, said the 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.

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 said 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. (pia x)

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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