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PIA Press Release
Monday, January 02, 2012


Sarangani supports DOH birth spacing campaign

by CT Apelacio

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Jan 2 (PIA) -- The local government of Sarangani supports the Department of Health (DOH) campaign on family planning which promotes proper birth spacing of three to five years.

With a theme “3-5 Taong Agwat, Dapat!,” the campaign aims to educate parents about the importance of waiting for three to five years before having their next child.

“We need to tell mothers and fathers why a longer birth interval is best for them,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Antonio Yasaña.

The provincial health office, in partnership with the rural health units, conducted health events promoting healthy birth spacing to communities in the towns of Alabel and Kiamba recently.

It was attended by around 400 individuals, mothers and fathers, and are beneficiaries of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

“A mother is able to recover from the previous birth and gets more time to spend with her child. With time, attention, and proper care, the child’s development, especially in the crucial first five years of life, is closely monitored,” said Kiamba Sangguniang Bayan member and Committee on Health chair Florentino Aquino.

“Children learn quickly when they feel loved and secure from birth and when they play and interact with family members and other people close to them. The more often mothers, fathers and other caregivers play with, talk to and respond to the child, the faster she or he learns,” Aquino added.

World Health Organization (WHO) in global technical discussions cited numerous studies linking short birth spacing with poor health outcomes like maternal and newborn morbidity and deaths, premature births, low birth weight, and child stunting.

In a recent survey, the Social Weather Station (SWS) reported that 73 percent of respondents agreed that the government should provide information on all methods of modern family planning.

In the Philippines, women on the average give birth a little over two years after a previous delivery. About 55 percent of women give birth too soon after a preceding birth.

“Relevant information is crucial to help couples make a decision for their family’s future,” Dr. Yasaña said.

“The DOH is mandated to provide information about the benefits of birth spacing so that parents can make an informed, voluntary decision about how they will plan their family,” he explained.

In Sarangani, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) has been conducting health classes and health events in municipalities which highlight important messages on family planning, maternal and child health care, and nutrition.

“We encourage local leaders and health service providers to step up the conduct of health events and classes to deliver important messages to more Filipino men and women,” Dr. Yasaña said.

The PHO also underscored the important role of media in spreading the reach of health messages to a wider population particularly those in the geographically isolated areas. (CTA/JR/PIA General Santos City)

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