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CAMPAIGN N EW S T R A I L U P DAT E S O N T H E C H N C A M PA I G N I N T H E P H I L I P P I N E S

Volume 2 Issue 1

October-March 2013

INSIDE THIS ISSUE GLOBAL CAMPAIGN Philippines raises 113,101 hands 2 GALLERY Global Week of Action 2012 3 NATIONAL CAMPAIGN Partners commit to take

action on Nutrition 4

What is the SUN

Movement?

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CHILD NUTRITION CHN focuses campaign

on child nutrition

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NNC Technical Committee approves 2013 Nutrition Month

theme

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saving the babies

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ADVOCATE SPEAKS Breastfeeding

empowers you

Nutrition talk caps GWA for children to survive 5 he well-supported Child Health Now Global Week of Action in the Philippines was capped with the launching of the World Vision and Save the Children report, Nutrition Barometer: Gauging National Responses to Undernutrition, sending the message that child survival is largely dependent on government’s commitment and support from various sectors.

FEATURED PRACTICES Caring for mothers,

Assistant Secretary Enrique Tayag of the Department of Health (left) joins Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy and Dr. Jacqueline Kitong of WHO in answering questions of media during the presscon that followed the Nutrition Barometer Results. Photo by Lorenzo Tabora.

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LOCAL CAMPAIGN

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Campaign milestones

Local partners plan for

behavior change

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“Give DOH three years and we will make it sound-sound,” says Dr. Eric Tayag of the Department of Health, referring to improving Philippine commitment for children’s nutritional status as it fared frail in this criteria, but scored with “sound outcomes” in the Nutrition Barometer report. The Nutrition Barometer report, jointly undertaken and published by World Vision International and Save the Children, measures for the first time political and economic commitments to tackle children malnutrition in a group of 36 high-burden countries, including the Philippines.

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GLOBAL CAMPAIGN

Philippines raises 113,101 hands

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he Philippines showed tremendous support to this year’s Global Week of Action event with a total of 113,101 mobilized people notably in aresa where World Vision works. Their raised hands symbolized a global call to help children survive the crucial age of 5. Supporters included top government officials, notably President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III himself, together with some members of the Cabinet, the Senate and

Congress, the Supreme Court Chief Justice, celebrities, health workers, mothers, other members of the community, including children and youth. “GWA made many people aware of their roles to pray for millions of children under 5 to be spared from death due to preventable causes,” says Norma Hernandez, Program Officer of World Vision’s Green Valley Area Development Program in Sorsogon City, one of the six pilot areas of the Child Health Now Campaign. Two mothers from Estancia in Iloilo who monitor World Vision sponsored children had many realizations in joining the week-long campaign. Maribeth Antonio of Daculan village says “supporting GWA was enjoyable and made us become more aware of the incidence of preventable deaths, and as Child Monitors like myself need to be more alert of such situations where these children are at risk. Mothers in our community need to be more aware and responsive in taking care of their children’s health.” Another mother, Annabelle Nunez of Barangay Botongon (village) said, “We realized how important it is for us to support our children by providing them good nutrition, and by ensuring that they are immediately referred to the RHU (rural health unit) when they show symptoms of sickness.” Meanwhile, at Word Vision’s single biggest national event where participation for the GWA was encouraged, WVDF Executive Director Elnora Bailen-Avarientos urged guests to raise their hands and say, “We want government, civil society and communities to prioritize Child Health… Now!” Avarientos added to explain that the raising of hands meant that participants did not want children to die. “This means ensuring that the more than 100,000 children we are supporting in 32 provinces, 32 cities, 125 municipalities and 1,346 barangays all over the country, enjoy good health, are educated for life, protected, cared for and participating and experience the love of God and others.” Avarientos further emphasized that World Vision “support global initiatives to end preventable deaths of

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children under five around the world. Called Child Health Now Campaign or (CHN), we want to ensure that every Filipino child and mother receive health care service in their community through Universal Health Care dubbed Kalusugan Pangkalahatan. We don’t want mothers to bury their own babies. We don’t want mothers to choose which of their children will live or die because they only have enough medicine for one. We don’t want children to have to drink water that could kill them because there’s nothing else.” Across the globe, almost 7 million children under age five die every year due to easily preventable causes. In the Philippines 25 out of 1,000 children born will not reach their 5th birthday because of pneumonia, diarrhea, malnutrition or lack of access to quality health care. One-third of these children could be saved with effective and inexpensive solutions. Maternal deaths have also increased from 162 to 221 per 100,000 live births between 2006 and 2010. This means that an estimated 11 women die each day from highly preventable complications arising from pregnancy and childbirth.

Over 2 million raise their hands for Child Health Now

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ith a diverse series of events, activities, press and social media taking place, the Global Week of Action campaign ended by reaching over 48 million people with 2.55 million actions being taken by more than 2 million people from 82 countries, making a very big impact. The campaign’s overarching aim was to show leaders that people care about child health and want action to prevent the 6.9 million under five child deaths that happen every year. With this result it certainly did just that. (From the www.childhealthnow.org)


GALLERY GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION 2012.

THANK YOU for the overwhelming show of support

during the Global Week of Action. This has inspired our campaign to move forward towards our goal for CHILD SURVIVAL TO 5.

Are you looking for a GWA photo that you posted online? Visit http://wvi.stln.me/child-health-now/embed/global-week-action-photowall

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NATIONAL CAMPAIGN Nutrition talks... (continued from page 1) This is an important study for World Vision’s Child Health Now and Save the Children’s Every One campaigns pushing for government to prioritize child health in terms of policies and funding support. World Vision Operations Director, Mercy Catoera led the raising of hands during the forum, explaining that “The Global Week of Action is Child Health Now’s mobilisation event asking decision makers for urgent action to address child mortality.” Relating the nutrition focus of the forum to Child Health Now’s call during its Global Week of Action, Catoera mentions that “undernutrition is behind more than one-third of all under-five deaths globally. One in four of all children under 5 (165 million children worldwide) are stunted from undernutrition, preventing them from reaching their full potential.”

Partners commit to take action on Nutrition

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n the first forum on the Nutrition Barometer Report hosted by World Vision and Save the Children in Quezon City, government, multi-lateral, and civil society organizations discussed the current situation of the country in terms of the political and programmatic support to nutrition.

Representative Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Vice Chairperson for the Committee of the Welfare of Children presented nine bills related to nutrition which are all pending at the 15th Congress, as they have been “overtaken by the RH Bill,” she admits. “Civil society must continue to lobby for these (nutrition-related) bills to pass the Senate,” Herrera-Dy appealed. The mentioned bills included the Magna Carta for Barangay Nutrition Scholars, expanded feeding program, and food nutritional labelling. The solon emphasized that nutrition should be a financial and policy focus as it forms part of

the government’s health banner program dubbed Universal Health Care Program or Kalusugang Pangkalahatan. World Health Organization (WHO) representative Jacqueline F. Kitong, MD mentioned that “The problem (on nutrition) is here, scaling up is clearly needed and is urgent”. She also urged to revisit Philippine global commitments on nutrition, reiterating as well that WHO supports the results of the Nutrition Barometer Report and the proposal for the country to become a member of the SUN Movement. WHO encourages “engagement of the Philippine government to increase investment in essential nutrition actions recommended by the ECOSOC (Economic and Social Council) and EWEC (Evey Woman, Every Child), and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) that the Philippine government has adopted or committed to implement.”

What is the SUN Movement?

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The national media from broadcast and print outfits ask questions on the state of Nutrition in the country from officials from the Department of Health, Congress, and the World Health Organization. Photo by Lorenzo Tabora.

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ountries that join the SUN Movement are committed (a) to ensuring that programmes in all sectors of government are sensitive to nutrition, and (b) to increasing coverage of proven interventions that improve nutrition during the 1000 day period such as support for exclusive breastfeeding, optimal complementary feeding practices and delivery of essential vitamins and minerals. Partners support the implementation of national nutrition plans through a responsive harmonized effort that builds on results-driven leadership, political energy, high-level advocacy and catalyzing financial and technical resources around countries’ priorities. (From the SUN Information Note 2012)


CHILD NUTRITION CHN focuses campaign on child nutrition

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he Philippines Child Health Now (CHN) campaign aims to contribute to the reduction in child mortality through improvements at the local and national levels on nutrition. This is done especially by campaigning for policies, programs, and caregiver and family practices supportive of Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), particularly promoting for exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months of babies.

There are two main strategies for the campaign at the ADPs: Advocacy and Behaviour Change. The Citizen Voice and Action (CVA) approach will propel advocacy through the community-based organization (CBO) partners, with participation of children and youth. The CVA process entails CBO engagement with government officials, service providers and other parts of the community to improve services and policies on nutrition and child health. Through the behaviour change strategy, CBOs will closely work with local health partners to improve caregiving and health-seeking practices of the community, notably mothers and families. Behaviour Change Communication (BCC) will be applied to achieve a substantial impact on community behaviour towards child health and attain certain level of sustainability for the change. At the national level, CHN will focus on advocacy for better policy on nutrition, driven through its partnership with other CSOs and government agencies that have a stake on improving nutrition. The national partnerWE’RE ON FACEBOOK! For more information and ship will encourage the Philippine government to join the resources, check our page at Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement to achieve greater facebook.com/ChildHealthNowPhilippines focus and accountability on nutrition from government and more open collaboration with CSOs, which would translate to improved nutrition policies, programming and Dont forget to us! implementation at the localities.

Child Health Challenges In line with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s Aquino Health Agenda (AHA) of achieving Kalusugan Pangkalahatan (KP) or Universal Health Care (UHC), the Department of Health (DOH) continues to strive to provide relevant programs and policies to propel the country’s achievement of health and nutrition-related MDG targets. The department implements programs that range from interventions on maternal care to care of the newborn up to integrated management of child health. A number of policies and legislation related to nutrition and maternal and child health at the national and local governments have also been passed, including Essential Newborn Care (ENC), Child Growth Standard (CGS), and the MNCHN Manual of Operations, among others.The current congress and the chief executive recently passed and approved the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RA 10354) and the Sin Tax Law (RA 10351).

While undernutrition is identified as an underlying cause in under-five preventable infections and diseases, it is also recognized as a direct or immediate cause of child death.

The health reforms being undertaken are in light of the mixed reports on the progress in maternal, newborn and child and health and nutrition in the Philippines over the past two decades, while the reckoning of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets draws near. The Philippines have a high probability of attaining the MDG 4 targets. But a disaggregation of the mortality rates to view infant (IMR) and neonatal mortality rates (NMR) shows that the country is fast reaching a point where further reductions in child mortality will be possible only if IMR and NMR are reduced, both of which have remained unchanged in the last two decades. While undernutrition is identified as an underlying cause in under-five preventable infections and diseases, it is also recognized as a direct or immediate cause of child death. Malnourished children who are ill eventually die because they are malnourished. It is thus alarming that one third of Filipino children under five are stunted and one in five babies is born with a low birth weight, an underlying factor in 60 to 80 percent of neonatal deaths. This same vulnerable period when child mortality is at its peak (0-24 months) is considered the ‘window of opportunity’ to provide appropriate nutrition because it is when growth faltering can be most prevented.

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CHILD NUTRITION CHN focuses... (continued from page 5) Breastfeeding is a simple, accessible, effective and affordable measure that could significantly contribute to the survival, growth and development of the child, especially during this critical ‘window of opportunity’. Breastfeeding is ranked topmost of 15 child survival interventions to decrease under-five mortality. Exclusive breastfeeding up to six months and breastfeeding up to 24 months with complementary feeding starting at six months together were estimated to prevent almost one-fifth of under-five mortality in developing countries. Amidst piling evidences pointing to the wonders of breastfeeding, only 27 percent of infants in the Philippines were exclusively breastfed in the first six months. This is aggravated by very aggressive promotion and marketing by multinational milk companies, at times to the point of violating the Philippine Milk Code (Executive Order 51). There is also an apparent slow compliance to the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotions Act of 2009 (Republic Act 10028). Other huge challenges exist. The enactment of the Local Government Code transferred power over the provision of health services away from the national government to local governments, resulting to a fragmented health care delivery system. In many areas especially in rural communities, there is lack of access to health resources in terms of physical (availability), financial (affordability) and cultural (acceptability). At the community level, cultural acceptability

has significant contribution to poor health system performance and consequently poor health outcomes. The Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition (PPAN) for 2011-2016 logically puts on top of its targets the achievement of nutrition-related MDGs. Nonetheless, the comprehensive PPAN document is yet to be published and made public. Amidst this backdrop of national commitment on nutrition, the Philippines has not made any commitments to the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement or nutritionfocused commitment to the Every Woman, Every Child initiative. Considering that the global community is exerting tremendous effort to meet the MDG targets even with movements beyond the 2015 deadline, it would help countries to commit to global efforts and encourage high level leadership backed by international support to attain desired levels of impact in-country. These realities present an opportunity for WVDF at the national and the ADPs to work for complementary approaches to improve nutrition policy and service, and awareness and change in behaviour among families, especially the parents and pregnant women. WV’s resources and strengths in mobilizing communities for local action and for influencing local officials may complement government efforts. Meeting the MDGs is a tremendous challenge, some of which the Philippines may not achieve by 2015, but with the concerted efforts of government, civil society organizations like WV, local communities and families, it is possible to create the momentum surge to ensure that goals can be reached sooner rather than later.

NNC Technical Committee approves 2013 Nutrition Month theme

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he NNC Technical Committee approved the Nutrition Month theme for 2013, “Gutom at malnutrisyon, sama-sama nating wakasan!,” during its meeting on 12 February 2013. The theme underscores the need for concerted multi-stakeholder actions to reduce hunger and malnutrition. The 2013 NM celebration aims to increase awareness

on hunger issues and actions that need to be done to mitigate hunger; encourage governement agencies, non-government organiztaions, private sector, civil society organizations, and communities to contribute to addressing hunger issues; and advocate for stronger political action to end hunger. Plans for the celebration of the NM 2013 were also presented to the TechCom which included the nationwide simultaneous launching on 1 July; concert to raise awareness on ending hunger summit or high-level forum. The NM 2013 focus on hunger is part of the Philippines’ commitment to the UN Millenium Development Goal particularly Goal 1 which is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, specifically to reduce by half of the underweight-for-age under-fives from 27.3% in 1990 to 13.7% in 2015 and reduce by half the percentage of households with inadequate dietary energy intake from 74.2% in 1993 to 37.1% in 2015. While malnutrition prevalence is declining,

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it is considered at a slow pace with the prevalence of underweight-for-age among preschollers at 20.2% in 2011 (2011 Updating of Nutritional Status, DOST-FNRI). On the other hand, the percentage of households with per capita intake below 100% of the dietary energy requirement is at 66.9% in 2008 (7th National Nutrition Survey, DOST-FNRI), an increase from 57% in 2003. To reach the goals on reducing hunger, more definitive actions on hunger reduction have to be done. The 2013 Nutrition Month celebration is a call to action to address hunger, specifically: •

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all NNC-member agencies to harmonize program implementation/operations along hunger reduction particularly in ensuring that Filipinos have access to adequate, nutritious and safe food; local government units to enhance governance to improve delivery and access to social services that will enhance the utilization of food; local chief executives to initiate localization of nationally-initiated programs along poverty and hunger reduction.

(From the official website of the National Nutrition Councilwww.nnc.gov.ph)


FEATURED PRACTICES

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race Violena is on her eighth month of pregnancy- her first at 23 years old. She beams and tells she is often happy the past eight months, but admits her pregnancy was not hassle-free. “They should make it a routine to visit the health center so they would know the condition of

their pregnancy and their baby,” she advises to other pregnant women. Grace’s confidence on the health center is born of the immediate response when she was terrified of her blood spotting episode, and the daily home visits by a health worker to check on her. The regularity of support she gets from the nearby health facilities are enough assurance that she is closely monitored, and taken cared of.

Caring for Mothers, Saving the Babies

Grace Violena awaits the routine visit of the neighboring health worker, Eleanor Dooc, to check on her pregnancy condition. Photo and story by Monalinda Cadiz.

Enabling safer birth deliveries Grace’s pregnancy could not have come at a better time than when her community, an unlikely coastal area with one of the highest records of maternal deaths, has a responsive and progressive health facility. The City Health Office of Bacon District in Sorsogon City is now known for its focus on healthy pregnancies and safe deliveries. Only two years after it started operating, Bacon was recognized with the most friendly birthing facility, subsequently as outstanding Basic Emergency and Obstetric Newborn Care (BEmONC) facility in the Bicol Region. The reality, nonetheles, is that not all communities, much less a rural area in a country like the Philippines, have this rare health system that takes care of pregnant women and their babies like all life depended on them. “The mantra of our facility is that we value mothers because they are our partners in bringing up healthy children, the building blocks of our community,” tells Dr. Jazelle Calleja, Bacon District Health Officer.

SHARE YOUR HEALTH STORIES! Your good practices may provide ideas to help enable national and local CHN partners improve services and practices on nutrition or maternal and child care. SEND TO chnphilippines@gmail.com or tell us if you want us to write it for you.

Bacon District indeed progressed from a town where bringing a life to the world was highly risky, to definitely safe. Between years 2005 and 2009, three of 10 deliveries were administered by hilot or traditional birth attendants. Maternal mortality was at 85/1,000 live births five years before the establishment of the facility. From 2010 to 2012, maternal deaths declined to 69/1,000 live births. When the birthing facility began its operations in June 2010, facility-based delivery quickly increased to 86% that same year, and then to 92% the following year- a stark contrast to the 48% average rate some five years earlier. The apparent shift of community behavior was also drastic, as more women preferred skilled birth attendants like doctors and midwives, rather than the hilot. From 44% in 2005-2009, only 7% of deliveries in 2011 was performed by traditional birth attendants. A provincial policy in Sorsogon against the practice of home delivery by traditional birth attendants also encouraged facility-based delivery. As for the hilot, they were recruited to become part of the Women Health Teams, but instead of attending to deliveries, their roles included the tracking of pregnant women in the villages, and educating them to have healthy pregnancies. No mother had ever died giving birth at the Bacon District Birthing Facility, although two were recorded from the community. But there had been an increase in neonatal deaths from 2009 to 2011 and there were recorded still births. “Neonatal death and still birth are attributable to poor health seeking behavior,” says Dr. Calleja. She mentions for instance that some pregnant women do not avail prenatal checkups especially during their first trimester.

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ADVOCATE SPEAKS

Breastfeeding empowers you By Tintin Bersola-Babao

*Long before her involvement with the CHN Campaign, Mrs Babao had already personally advocated for breastfeeding. This article was published on the portals of the Philippine Star and PARENTIN TV on August 2010.

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ng aking pangalawang anak, ang aking bunso na si Antonio ay six months old na nung July 31. For the first six months of his life, I breastfed him. Exclusively. Meaning no water. No multi-vitamins. Just breastmilk. When he was six months old, I introduced solid food to him. Carrots, squash, dark green leafy veggies. Brown rice. Oatmeal for breakfast. But I still continue to breastfeed Antonio. And I will do so until he turns one, or if I can, more than a year old. But I’ve met moms who still breastfeed their kids up to four years. Wow! Bilib talaga ako sa kanila! Saludo! Di ko ma-imagine na tatagal ako ng ganun! Pero masaya na ako, because I feel empowered na naitataw-

Kung alam nating lahat that breastmilk is the gold standard– why then is the culture of breastfeeding so low in the Philippines? id ko ang pagbe-breastfeed sa kanila without giving in to the lure of milk formula – a mistake which I made in the past, when, as a first-time mom, I heeded other people’s ill advice and gave soybased milk AFTER I successfully breastfed my first-born Antonia until she was eight months old. Huli na nung na-realize ko na hndi na dapat binigyan ng formula ang panganay ko dahil mayroon namang other sources of calcium – hindi lang gatas ang tanging source nito. Since nagso-solid foods na ang panganay ko at that time, marami namang solid foods ang may calcium, at hindi ko na dapat binigyan siya ng non-mother’s milk. At ngayong natuto na ako, at mas informed na ako, NEVER ko na bibigyan ng milk formula itong pangalawa kong anak… I will stick to giving him just MOTHER’S MILK. Si Antonia, ang aking panganay ay umiinom ng gatas ngayon, ngunit hindi na ito formula, fresh milk-chocolate flavor. Hindi na ito MILK FORMULA. Sa aking pananaw, dahil five years old na siya, okay lang naman ito. Hindi naman ako hard core or purist – na naniniwala na ang gatas ng baka ay para lamang sa baka. Naniniwala naman ako na kapag malaki na ang bata, like in my case, nung nag-aaral na si Antonia, umiinom na siya ng chocolate milk bilang baon sa school and before matulog. Tayo ngang mga matatanda ay umiinom ng gatas eh- sa kape natin, sa ice cream, etc. I would like to focus on babies. And milk formula for newborn and infants. Para bigyan ang baby ng formula – diyan ako hindi sangayon. Sabi nila, nakakatalino daw ang milk formula. Hindi ako

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sang-ayon. Milk formula companies spend billions and billions of pesos for ads just to say that milk formula has the best nutrients for the optimum development of your baby. Nakaka-genius daw! But have we forgotten the milk code? Just to refresh you, here it is: Executive Order No. 51, Oct. 20, 1986 Adopting a national code of marketing of breastmilk substitutes, breastmilk supplements and related products, penalizing violations thereof, and for other purposes Whereas, in order to ensure that safe and adequate nutrition for infants is provided, there is a need to protect and promote breastfeeding and to inform the public about the proper use of breastmilk substitutes and supplements and related products through adequate, consistent and objective information and appropriate regulation of the marketing and distribution of the said substitutes, supplements and related products; Whereas, consistent with Article 11 of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, the present government should adopt appropriate legislation to give effect to the principles and aim of the aforesaid International Code; Now, therefore, I, Corazon C. Aquino, President of the Philippines, do hereby order: Sec. 1. Title. This Code shall be known and cited as the “National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements and Other Related Products”. Sec. 2. Aim of the Code. The aim of the Code is to contribute to the provision of safe and adequate nutrition for infants by the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and by ensuring the proper use of breastmilk substitutes and breastmilk supplements when these are necessary, on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution. Sec. 3. Scope of the Code. The Code applies to the marketing, and practices related thereto, of the following products: Breastmilk substitutes, including infant formula; other milk products, foods and beverages, including bottle-fed complementary foods, when marketed or otherwise represented to be suitable, with or without modification, for use as a partial or total replacement of breastmilk; feeding bottles and teats. It also applies to their quality and availability, and to information concerning their use. Pero obviously napakadaming milk companies ang lumalabag nito dahil nga bilyon-bilyon ang income sa milk formula. Pero sa dami ng lumalabag, wala namang nakukulong. A total of 2.5 to three million babies are born in the Philippines everyday. EVERYDAY. Imagine, ganun kalaki ang target market ng mga multi-national milk formula companies.

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LOCAL CAMPAIGN CAMPAIGN MILESTONES CHN SITE AIMLife Alcantara, Cebu RSAI Estancia, Iloilo

Golden Valley Puerto Princesa City

GVDF Sorsogon City

OCT 2012

NOV 2012

GWA participation

Capacity building and workshop on BCC

GWA participation

Capacity building and workshop on BCC

• • •

GWA participation Orientation of children leaders about CHN in preparation for local childrens congress Review of ADP Design for integration of CHN

GWA participation

Himaya I GWA participation Oroquieta City BASAK Bunawan,

JAN 2013

GWA participation

Agusan del Sur

Capacity building and workshop on BCC

Capacity building and workshop on BCC

FEB 2013 • • • •

CVA Orientation and CVA Plan finalization of ADP Meeting for integration of CHN in ADP Design Meeting for integration of CHN in ADP Design CVA Plan orientation and finalization of ADP

Follow up meeting with health partners for BCC and CVA plan finalization • •

Overview of BCC to children and youth Validation survey and data analysis for BCC

Capacity building and Partners’ meeting to validate data for workshop on BCC BCC • CVA Orientation of ADP * This project site inevitably suspended campaign plans as it recovers from the devastation which Typhoon Pablo left when it badly hit the area in December 2012.

Caring for mothers...(continued from page 3) She adds that this stage is crucial to detect and manage danger signs and complications of pregnancy. Counselling through home visits has been a regular task of health workers in Bacon so that families, especially women, would develop health-seeking behavior. This could be crucial to their survival in child birth and that of their infants. “Sometimes, the pregnant women seek my advise on availing services from the health facilities. The community residents are generally more comfortable talking to a volunteer from their neighborhood, rather than an actual health worker,” mentions Sheryll Diaz, a volunteer parent leader in a village in Bacon. There are many other volunteers like Sheryll who help the Health Office influence mothers to avail services from the health facilities. The volunteers are part of the Womens Health Teams organized in Bacon to augment the limited number of actual health workers so that all villages, especially those far from the main health facilities, could be reached. “The staff are very committed, and the local government is very supportive too. We have a local policy that provides a percentage of proceeds from the birthing facility as incentive to staff.” Dr. Calleja mentions that this is an institutionalized motivation to skilled birth attendants, considering that their meager salary is a perennial problem in many health facilities operated by local governments. Low government budget for health staff can cause quick turn overs, or worse, health staff with less commitment than is necessary.

Newborn screening is available at the Bacon District Birthing Facility which, according to the DOH, could reduce untimely deaths or sickness in infants. Photo by the Bacon District Health Office of Sorsogon City.

The most recent addition to the health facility is a halfway home for pregnant women who are awaiting their scheduled delivery, especially for those residing very far from the birthing facility. A mobile phone hotline has also been made available. At the rate of how things are moving at the Bacon District, its aspiration for 100% facility-based delivery, 0 maternal deaths, and reduced infant mortality by 2015 could well be within reach.

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Local partners plan for behavior change

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n BCC (Behavior Change Communication), we need to make sure we go beyond awareness raising, and instead enable increase of access to health services, or better caregiving practices,” emphasizes Dominique Tabora, World Vision Regional Communications Specialist at the BCC Workshop in Quezon City. Local health partners, ADP staff and officers from CHN local sites, including WVDF specialists attended the three-day training-workshop to effectively integrate BCC into their local campaigns for child nutrition. In undergoing the BCC process at the workshop, participants from each city or municipality were able to develop a basic plan that is intended to respond to specific behavioral problems on child nutrition. Based on local data which partners brought with them and the result of the CHN baseline research, as well as considering the CHN campaign focus on nutrition, almost all the areas identified breastfeeding practices and support systems as

Breastfeeding empowers...(continued from page 5)

the focus of their proposed BCC. The common goals of the areas are to intensify exclusive breastfeeding practices including for working mothers and teenager mothers, enhance family support to the lactating mother, and expand compliance of local government and business establishments to national policies supporting breastfeeding. The BCC plans of each city and municipality are scheduled to be validated, the final version of which will be presented to the Local Government Unit for support in implementation.

Breastfeeding empowers you. It is one way of showing your unconditional love to your baby.

BUT all the NUTRIENTS needed for the optimum mental and physical development of your baby ARE PRESENT IN MOTHER’S MILKAND EVEN MORE. And there are so many websites and blogs to prove that feeding your baby only with breastmilk results in HIGHER IQ – and EQ among babies who are exclusively breastfed. (From PubMed.com) Of 145 normal full-term infants studied during the first year after birth, those exclusively breastfed for the first four months differed significantly from those not exclusively breastfed in physical and behavioral development, and resistance to infection. At four months of age, the mean weight of the exclusively breastfed group was higher (p < 0.05). At one year, the exclusively breastfed group showed more advanced. Personal-Social (p = 0.05) and gross motor development (p < 0.05) on the Denver Developmental Screening test and lesser cumulative incidence of infectious diseases (p < 0.05). This study demonstrated the beneficial effects of breastfeeding on development and resistance to infection in infants. And unlike artificial milk formula, breastmilk will not cause respiratory cases or other formula related illnesses to babies (such as diarrhea, low verbal IQ etc.). There have been studies too that says formula in cans may contain “pathogenic micro-organisms.” Ang tanong? Kung alam nating lahat that breast milk is the gold standard – why then is the culture of breastfeeding so low in the Philippines? Bakit ba ang daming madaling maniwala na ang formula ay nakakatalino ng baby nila? Imagine, ang dami na ngang mahirap, magkano lang ang sweldo, pero bumibili ng formula – P700 to P800 kada linggo para sa isang lata – P2,800 to P3,600 a month! Na sana ay maibibili na ng iba pang mga kailangan ng baby nila. Dahil ang breastmilk ay LIBRE . Nakasisiguro ka pa na hindi contaminated ang water – isang problema din kasi ang kakulangan sa malinis ng tubig sa mga depressed areas. Yung ibang ina, para makatipid, (dahil nga mahal ang presyo kada lata ng formula) ay bumibili na lang ng powdered milk na hindi pang-baby – yung mura lang – P22 kada isang foil pack – pero ito ay loaded with sugar – at hindi naman talaga para sa baby. Paano na ang Published bi-annually by tamang nutrisyon? Child Health Now Philippines This will be the topic of my next piece. I will give you pointers on how to breastfeed World Vision Development Foundation, Inc. successfully. Proper diet ng ina para dumami ang kanyang gatas. Proper mindset. Baby posi389 Quezon Ave cor. West 6th St. tioning while feeding. Milk storage. And how to continue breastfeeding even when you have West Triangle, Quezon City to go back to work. For now, as I leave you with Part 1 of my breastfeeding piece, I say to you, “Breastfeeding empowers you. It is one way of showing your unconditional love to your baby. You can do it, mommy. Be committed and you can do it. “

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CHN Campaign Newstrail