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Feature: Garantisadong Pambata program in Tagum City

Davao City (5 June) -- The'Garantisadong Pambata' (GP) Program is a program that aims to deliver a package of health services and relevant health information to preschool-aged children or those ages between 0-5 years old through integrated approach for the purpose of reducing morbidity and mortality.

Under the program, it ensures that all target beneficiaries receive health services to stay and remain healthy, children who missed the routine health services and those living in remote areas are given special attention.

Health services provisions are giving of Vitamin A Capsule (VAC) supplements to all 6-71 months old children; immunization; iron supplements to infants and pregnant women; and promotion of positive care giving behaviors.

Vitamin A helps form and maintain healthy teeth, skeletal and soft tissue, mucous membranes and skin. It also promotes good vision and likewise known as retinol because it produces the pigments in the retina of the eye. Retinol is an active type of vitamin A and found in animal liver, whole milk, and some fortified foods.

Catch-up immunization is given to those children who missed the routine immunization like BCG, DPT, OPV, HEPA B and measles.

BCG vaccine (Bacille Calmette Guérin) is used to prevent disseminated and other life-threatening manifestations of tuberculosis in infants and young children while DPT immunization is for the protection of children against diphtheria, pertussis (whopping cough) and tetanus and OPV vaccination is to prevent the development of polio disease, HEPA B vaccine for protection against Hepatitis B infection.

The promotion of positive care giving behaviors are the exclusive breastfeeding of infants from zero to six months old; feeding infant micronutrient rich complementary foods starting six months old; using iodized salt daily; buying and eating fortified foods; brushing of teeth properly and regularly; letting children play safe toys; and no smoking in front of pre-schooler.

The GP Program improves child survival and safe motherhood. The various health services provided are aimed at lowering infant and child deaths; protects children from common illnesses; lowers the risk of maternal deaths; lowers health cost, fewer health complications and illnesses; improves Vit. A status.

The Tagum City Health Office under Dr. Myrna L. Gazmen, conducted the first GP round in all 23 barangays of Tagum City and has achieved a very satisfactory coverage with the help of the volunteer health workers and community leaders. These are the statistics that benefited from the Garantisadong Pambata Program and who availed the Vitamin A Supplementation and Deworming. (ebl_foa/CIO Tagum) [top]

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