by Xyla Charisse S. Alinsod
Pregnant and lactating women of Barangay Pansol, Calamba City started their 120-day feeding program on August 1, as part of the 2016 Nutrition Month Celebration last July.
For the 38 mothers who joined the feeding activity, Brgy. Pansol allocated 30 pesos each for 120 days. This budget came from the barangay’s budget and from Non-Government Organization’s (NGO) donations.
Ms. Regina T. Celso, the 2014 National Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholar (BNS) 2nd Runner up, spearheaded the program. According to the BNS, she personally cooks the meals, because the food they are going to prepare has a proper recipe, handed by the National Nutrition Council (NNC). Most of the meals are malunggay-enriched. The program was made possible with the help of Women’s Desk, Kababaihan Gabay ng Bayan (KAGABAY), and the Barangay Council for Protection of Children (BCPC).
Barangay Pansol Health Team also distributed vitamins and supplements provided by the Department of Health (DOH).
This year’s Nutrition month had the theme “First 1000 days ni Baby, Pahalagahan Para sa Malusog na Kinabukasan,”. Besides feeding programs, other activities during the Nutrition Month were Seminars or “Talakayan sa Nutrisyon”, free check-ups, house-to-house visitations, and distribution of publications for the enforcement of full awareness and knowledge about nursing a baby.
In accordance with RA 10028, the feeding program is not just an activity, but also an instrument for a campaign. A campaign to encourage soon-to-be moms to refrain from using milk formulas, and instead use their breastmilk, for up to two years and beyond, for the health of their child.
Catherine Ramos, a mother of 3, said that she is happy with the feeding program. “Maganda yung programa, nakakatulong talaga. Sana magtuluy-tuloy,” said Jhaymeeann Española, 26, and is also a recipient of the program.
The next step for the barangay activity would be the “Implanon”, a family planning program. Health workers are going to insert match-like capsule implants on a female’s arm as a form of contraceptive. According to DOH, this is safe for nursing moms and do not cause abortions. Implants can prevent ovulation for three to seven years, depending on the type of implant.