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PIA Press Release

Breastfeeding: Cheapest poverty alleviation strategy

by Jemin B. Guillermo

Roxas City (16 February) -- Breastfeeding is the most far-reaching and cheapest poverty alleviation strategy.

According to Education Secretary Jesli Lapus said breastfeeding is the most far-reaching and cheapest strategy in alleviating poverty being part of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's Hunger Mitigation Campaign.

In line with this, the DepEd will integrate Infant and Young Chid Feeding (IYCF) practices in the elementary and high school curriculum starting schoolyear 2009-2010.

Lapus said that the importance of breastfeeding will be taught under Edukasyong Pantahanan at Pangkabuhayan (EPP) for elementary students and incorporated in Home Economics (HE) for secondary school.

He added that in collaboration with the DepEd, the Children Breastfeeding, Inc., will be conducting advocacy seminars for teachers this summer, to include the preparation of supporting instructional materials, which will be used during the next schoolyear.

During the presentation of the Breastfeeding Queen, Breastfed Princesses and Princes at Malacaņang today, President Arroyo will underscore the importance of breastfeeding in the battle against malnutrition and hunger under the National Plan of Action on IYCF.

Studies confirmed that breastmilk ensures the life-long health and well-being, emotional stability and intellectual development of future generations.

Mother's milk is the best food which helps protect the baby against most illnesses at no cost, studies also show.

The Department of Health (DOH) said that the Philippines is among the countries with high prevalence of deaths among children under five years old.

The DOH disclosed that said deaths could have been prevented if the children were fed exclusively through breastfeeding during the first six months after birth, given appropriate complementary feeding at six months, and continued to be breastfed for at least two years. (PIA) [top]

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