Capiz health workers train on child feeding
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (7 September) -- Midwives and health educators in Capiz underwent a training on infant and young feeding (IYCF) in response to the government's effort to fight hunger.
According to Ma. Divina Bigcas, nutritionist/dietician of the Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Capiz, some 23 midwives and health educators in the province recently attended a 5-day counseling course.
Bigcas said that the activity, which was sponsored by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), aims to provide the participants with the skills on counseling on breastfeeding and complementary feeding.
President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo recently instructed the National Nutrition Council (NCC) to accelerate the simultaneous community-based training programs for IYCF to provide counseling for mothers on the importance of breastfeeding.
With the counseling inputs for health service providers, health officials in the province are optimistic that more mothers and caregivers will be encouraged to breastfeed their infants, Bigcas said.
She added that the appropriate knowledge on complementary feeding is also needed by mothers and caregivers to address the malnutrition problem among young children.
Last year, of the 12,429 infants seen at six months in Capiz, some 10,229 or 82.30 percent of whom were exclusively breastfed, the PHO data showed.
In the Philippines, the rate of exclusive breastfeeding at four to five months of age has fallen from 20 percent in 1998 to 16 percent in 2003. (PIA) [top]