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PIA Press Release

Ifugao ensures good health for pre-schoolers

by Vency D.Bulayungan

LAGAWE, Ifugao (23 October) -- In line with the national government’s vision of ensuring the health of its constituents especially the children, the Provincial Health Office here implemented the Garantisadong Pambata, GP (Pre-schoolers Health Week) on October 15-20, 2006.

Florence Lunag, Provincial Health Team Leader of the Department of Health (DOH) said that the GP is an activity spearheaded by the DOH as part of the overall Bright Child campaign.

“It is conducted bi-annually (April and October) to highlight the essential child health interventions and to promote good child rearing behaviors among mothers and caretakers,” Lunag said.

With the theme “Garantisadong Pambata! 4 in 1 kalusugan sa inyong health centers,” the local government units (LGUs) through their local health units are the prime movers in the delivery of the package of health services for children 0-5 years old or 0 – 71 month old who comprise 17.5% of the total population here.

“For this month, 4 in 1 refers to Bitamina A (Vitamin A supplementation), Bakuna (immunization), Breastfeeding, and Purga sa Bulate” (deworming),” Lunag said.

Other child health services shall also be promoted, such as salt testing for iodine, appropriate complementary feeding, oral health, growth monitoring and promotion, psychosocial development, newborn screening, child safety, appropriate treatment of sick children and child safety.

The above interventions are scientifically proven to be the most cost effective for drastically reducing deaths and illness among children.” While these interventions are given routinely in health centers, the GP week campaign aims to intensify all efforts to reach the eligible children, particularly those who are “missed”, those in the underserved areas, and the “unreached,” Lunag said.

For breastfeeding, Lunag disclosed that the trend of exclusive breastfeeding up to six months here is declining. Most mothers stop breastfeeding and introduce solid foods as early as when the baby is three months old. She bared that some working mothers prefer to feed their babies with commercial products.

Lunag also said that in order to meet the target 100%, all health facilities, health and nutrition posts, day care centers, barangay halls served as GP service point while outreach missions were conducted in hard to reach areas, indigenous communities, underserved areas and in areas with largest number of missed children.

Rapid coverage survey will be conducted after GP to validate coverage and ensure that no child has been missed and mop-up activities may have to be done, particularly in densely populated areas where children may likely be missed. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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