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PIA Press Release
Wednesday, November 03, 2010

 

More than 200,000 children in CAR set to benefit from expanded child health program

BAGUIO CITY The Department of Health recently announced that it will be expanding the child health program next year with P2 billion allocation.

The Garantisadong Pambata or GP program, a package of health services that has traditionally been given to children below six years, will now be also offered even for school aged children and will also include additional and appropriate services.

According to DOH-CAR Health Operations Division Head, Dr. Amelita Pangilinan, the 2011 P2B budget allocated is a welcome development as it benefit more than 200,000 children in Cordillera.

The 2011 GP budget is about five fold increase compared to the P325 million budget this year. "For this year, the GP targets in Cordillera are about 23,000 6-11 months and 183,000 12 to 59 months old children," Pangilinan stressed.

"The health department is now giving more focus on the United Nations Millennium Development Goals thus child health is one of our priorities," Pangilinan said. She explained that the expanded GP program will be big help in child health promotion and for providing enough essential vaccines, micro-nutrient supplements and de-worming tablets.

"The GP program does not only provides essential vaccines, vitamin A supplements and deworming, it also includes promotion of other health behavior such as maternal health, oral health of children, proper hand washing, proper toilet use and other promotions of essential child health care," Pangilinan added.

In line with the UN MDG goal of improving child and maternal health, Pangilinan reported that that based on the national standard, the Cordillera region has reached the target. On the regional level though, much is still wanting especially on neo-natal health care with still packets of low performing municipalities especially in the remote areas.

In a press statement, Helath Secretary Enrique T. Ona announced that the new GP will highlight health-promoting behaviors that parents, caregivers, teachers, leaders and children themselves can do in their respective spheres of influence. Aside from health facilities, the new-GP will go into homes, in schools, in daycare centers, and in other setting where the children are. **Lito Dar/PIA

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