Davao buses now breastfeeding-friendly
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (7 August) -- About 50 units of Metro Shuttle buses servicing the different cities in the region now have reserved seats for breastfeeding mothers.
Davao City is again the first city in the country to get the support of the transport sector to back up the advocacy of the Department of Health in helping mothers especially passengers to breastfeed their babies even in mobile situation.
World Health Organization representative Dr. Howard Sobel joined the launching of the first-ever breastfeeding-friendly bus as well as the inauguration of the breastfeeding room stationed in the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT).
" We commend the efforts of the city for always being the first to push for this breastfeeding advocacy," Howard said.
The Department of Health previously succeeded in getting the support of malls and business establishments for breasfeeding in malls and in the workplace.
Meanwhile, DCOTT officer in charge Magno Adalin Jr. said that his office is already meeting with bus organizations and convincing them to follow Metro Shuttle in providing some reserved seats for breastfeeding passengers.
Howard said that there is indeed a need to strengthen the advocacy since most mothers still entertain and believe on misconceptions. He cited that about 82,000 Filipino children before their fifth birthday and about 16,000 die because of sub-optimal feeding habits.
"Our country ranks worst among the 56 countries that were studied on their breastfeeding mothers," he said.
The study showed that only 16 percent of the 4 months old in the country are breastfed while about 15 percent have never even tasted a drop of breast milk.
City councilor Pilar Braga then announced that she is now planning to sponsor an ordinance urging all business establishments to support the breastfeeding advocacy. (PIA) [top]