The Department of Health (DOH) region 10 during Talakayan sa PIA on ‘Garantisadong Pambata’ on 10 October 2017 urges families to have health seeking behavior by taking advantage of the government health information and micronutrient supplementation including immunization, Vitamin A and deworming drugs.
Dr. Maria Ellen Santua of DOH region 10 shares that the department is doing all it can to provide nutrition to the young ones. In fact, she said that DOH not only go per barangay to offer health services but ensures that each household be given health, nutrition and environment information and services aged zero to 14 years old.
According to statistics, DOH completed 94% micronutrient coverage in the region. Dr. Santua explained that among the reasons include peace and security of some areas in the region, distance such as in far flung areas, and refusal of families and communities due to religious beliefs.
Dr. Santua admitted that they are still outnumbered by population. Every day, population grows in the country meanwhile number of health workers remains. Further, she said that DOH will always uphold informed choice and volunteerism. DOH will not force anyone who does not want to take their medicines but assures the public that their vaccines are relatively safe. She added these medicines will not be released unless they have been tested.
She added that even health workers are trained before they are deployed in communities. This is to make sure that they are able to explain to parents the importance of the vaccines or vitamin A and give them right information.
Meanwhile, Jacqueline Roa, Nutrition Program Coordinator of Misamis Oriental shared that what they want to see is behavior change among residents, families and mothers, specifically a health seeking behavior. She said that they encourage mothers to go to health centers even when not ill to get checked.
Meanwhile, Fe Sumagpao, Regional Coordinator of Adolescent Health of DOH region 10 added that DOH has worked with Department of Education (DepEd) in implementing health programs for children aged six to 14 years old. In fact, they have started providing Iron with Folic acid to teenage girls in public high schools.
Sumagapo said this is to prepare girls who will become mothers soon.
Finally, Telesfora Madelo, nutrition dietitian of DOH 10 shares that child’s health is not a mere task of the government but everyone’s responsibility. Everyone has a role to play in taking care of Filipino children including promoting key behaviors like proper hand washing and regular tooth brushing.
She also urged mothers to do their part in taking care of their children by availing of the micronutrient supplementation from DOH. (JMOR/PIA10)