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Local Health News
DOH Summit Stresses Breastfeeding & Family Planning
Condensed by L.D. Ramirez (sourced from a Manila Times article by Ben Kritz)

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Aside from nutrition and health benefits to babies, exclusive breastfeeding is also a modern, natural method for birth spacing.


BREASTFEEDING - STILL BEST FOR BABIES

In the recently concluded Breastfeeding and Family Planning Summit held by the Department of Health (DOH) last Thursday, Health Secretary Paulyn Jean B. Rosell Ubial emphasized the significance of exclusive breastfeeding from birth up to the first six months of life, and continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary feeding 6 months and beyond.


This is because of medical and statistical evidence that suggests that:

(01) It reduces newborn and under-five child deaths.
(02) It assures that infants receive the most appropriate nutrition to help them reach optimum growth and development in the first 1,000 days of life.


DOH statistics showed that only 24.7% of infants reaching 6 months are being exclusively breastfed, hence the continued encouragement from the government.


The health chief added that aside from nutrition and health benefits to babies, exclusive breastfeeding is also a modern, natural method for birth spacing.


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FAMILY PLANNING FOCUS

While there has been a steady increase of contraceptive use among married women from 49% in 2003 to 55% in 2013, according to 2013 National Demographic Health Survey, only 38% of these women use modern methods, Ubial said.


18% of married women are also classified as having unmet need for family planning, with 7% wanting to delay their pregnancy and 11% not wanting more children.


Because of this, the Family Planning Program of DOH is consolidating its strategies on reproductive health services to make it more accessible to women and couples.


Women who plan their future are able to provide proper nutrition, education, and health to themselves and to their families.


“Under this administration we continue to advocate the rights of women, children and families to ensure that their needs to life and survival will be given the corresponding financial support, governance, and leadership. Together, we will work in attaining our vision of All for Health towards Health for All,” Secretary Ubial concluded.


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