Parents are reminded about the importance of providing nutritional interventions at the start of a mother’s pregnancy to ensure the physical development of their children.
Negros Oriental Integrated Provincial Health Office nutritionist Antonieta Delfino said that a child’s health and wellness starts at conception.
This is why it is important for pregnant women to undergo prenatal check-up at least four times during her term, Delfino said.
Upon birth, babies should undergo newborn screening tests within 24 hours to detect if the child has congenital, metabolic and other genetic disorders that need immediate treatment.
Delfino added that breast milk is the best food for babies as it carries essential nutrients for child development like colostrum.
Vaccination is also necessary to boost a child’s immune system and avoid certain diseases.
Newborns should have BCG and hepatitis vaccines.
Upon reaching one and half month old, they must be given pentavalent and OPV vaccines, while in the succeeding months, a child must get the polio vaccine, pneumococcal, and MMR vaccines.
As the child grows older, parents are urged to bring their children to the local health units so that health officials can administer vitamin A and deworming medicines to ensure the well-being of the child.
“We urge parents to avail of the various health and nutrition interventions in their respective health facilities to help ensure your children are healthy,” she said.
Delfino stressed that it is discouraged for women to give birth in their homes.
If possible, they should give birth in health centers so that all health interventions for babies and mothers will be given to them immediately, she added.
Delfino was speaking during the Kapihan sa PIA hosted by the Philippine Information Agency together with the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office Early Childhood Care and Development to mark the celebration of National Children’s Month.
The celebration carried the theme “Healthy, Nourished, Sheltered, Ensuring Right of Life for All,” which focused on the importance of children’s access to available and quality health care to uphold their rights to survival, development, and protection. (PIA-7 Negros Oriental)