Concerted action to abate child injury urged
by Jemin B. Guillermo
Roxas City (21 August) -- The country's top health official has urged the public to work together to trim down child injury as well as improve the health of school children.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III has called on all concerned agencies and potential allies to work together for the welfare of children in the country.
In particular, Duque urged the various sectors, namely, the public works and highways, transportation, health, education, industry, private sector, non-government organizations, families, schools, workplaces and communities to create a condition conducive to injury prevention on children.
About 25 deaths were due to injuries for every 100,000 children aged 18 years below, he said, adding that said injuries are vehicular accidents, falls, poisoning, violence and assaults, drowning and animal bites.
Accordingly, those who survived the injuries are faced with varying degrees of disability, he said.
Duque noted that said injuries could have been prevented if only proper preventive measures were in place, making kids safer in schools, homes, and communities.
To address the issue of child injury, the DOH, in partnership with concerned stakeholders, has formulated the National Policy and Strategic Framework for Child Injury Prevention and Control.
Five priority areas which include road traffic injuries, poisoning, falls, burns, and drowning, will be undertaken by the health sector for immediate action, he said.
Meanwhile, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo has issued Presidential Proclamation 1307 that declares every 3rd week of June as 'National Safe Kids Week.'
Under said mandate, the President enjoins all stakeholders to harmonize their efforts on child injury prevention.
This year's theme is "INGAT BATA! Always Think of Child Safety: Safe Homes, Safe Schools, and Safe Community."
On the other hand, the Philippine Child Survival Strategy and Plan of Action for 2008-2010 also work to provide necessary advocacy support.
Said Plan of Action included injury prevention and control, and deworming as part of the 8 essential child survival package of interventions, Duque revealed, adding that the other interventions include immunization, skilled birth attendance, breastfeeding, complementary feeding at 6 months of age, Vitamin A supplementation, among others. (DOH/PIA) [top]