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PIA Press Release

Breastfeeding infants minimizes early deaths, say experts

By Rose Palacio

Davao City (6 July) -- The city government is celebrating July as Nutrition month by carrying out activities relative to good nutrition, proper breastfeeding, and a sustained campaign against malnutrition, said City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte and City Nutrition division chief Venus Millana.

As part of the month-long celebration, various radio stations were being tapped to intensify information on proper nutrition, good food and malnutrition.

Dr. Villafuerte stressed that mothers who breastfeed their babies up to two years reduces the number of infant deaths.

Ms. Millana also said breast milk contains antibodies needed to fight illnesses.

"Studies showed that the number of infant deaths have gone down to 29 percent from 36 percent per 1000 live births nearly 10 years ago", she said during the radio forum "Takna sa Kahimsug" aired live over DXRP Radyo ng Bayan anchored by Nitz Escarpe and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

She said that although the decrease is modest, it is a remarkable improvement in the quality of life of Filipinos.

Millana said mothers must take care of their babies during their most critical period of growth and development.

"Parents must be conscious of proper nutrition, psycho-social stimulation and early education of children from the toddler-stage to pre-school years," she said.

In answer to a query, Dr. Villafuerte said the national government and the city supports natural family planning methods, but leaves it to local officials to procure their supply of contraceptives.

The Nutrition month-long celebration is spearheaded by the City Health Office through CHO Dr. Josephine Villafuerte, CH assistant officer Dr. Sam Cruz, City's Nutrition division led by Nutrition division head Venus Millana, and the National Nutrition Council through its regional head Ma. Teresa Ungson. (PIA XI) [top]

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