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PIA Press Release
2006/11/22

RCWC advocates breastfeeding of children up to 6 months

by Rutchie Cabahug-Aguhob

Cagayan de Oro City (22 November) -- The government supports and promotes breastfeeding and adheres to reasonably strict standards for the entry of infant milk formula products in the country.

This is the assurance of Regional Director Julito C. Sabornido of the Dept. of Health, Center for Health Development, region 10, who said as a matter of policy, DOH-CHD will never allow to forge partnership with any milk company in its campaign to solve malnutrition among children.

However, Sabornido said, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who is the point person on the issue of the US-RP face off over baby's milk is acting in accordance with national interest without straining the diplomatic and trading ties with any nation.

The Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) being questioned is already undergoing a review to address the comments of the US Chamber of Commerce, he also said.

Meanwhile, the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children (RCWC), region 10, continues to advocate that mothers should breastfeed their babies up to at least six (6) months.

"Nobody can disagree when we say the best milk for the baby is that of its mother. It is natural and has all the nutritional component that a baby needs," the Health Director said.

Besides giving the baby optimum nutrition, mother's milk provides the baby protection from diseases, psycho-social stimulation and higher intelligence quotient (IQ), he also said

In some cases, however, the baby can be given supplemental food when it reaches four (4) months but that these supplemental food should not be made to substitute for mother's milk.

During the presentation of the Northern Mindanao Regional State of Children Report at the Dept. of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), recently, Dariza Pineda, Child Representative to RCWC-10, stressed that children who were not breastfed during their infancy, most likely, result in their "under-nutrition."

Citing some statistical data, Pineda pointed out that14 out of 100 pre-school children in the region weigh very low and below normal while 22 out of 100 elementary pupils also weigh below normal, simply because they were not breastfed.

"To alleviate the nutritional need for the eye vision of these children, DOH-CHD has conducted Vitamin A supplementation for children 6-71 months old while it also advocates for the use of iodized salt to prevent iodine deficiency disorder in them," Sabornido added. (PIA 10) [top]

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