The Order of the Golden Heart is conferred to Dr. Natividad R. Clavano for her pioneering work in breastfeeding advocacy, and infant and young child feeding
Dr. Natividad N. Relucio Clavano is hereby awarded the Order of the Golden Heart in the field of Pediatrics, where she pioneered in Young Child Feeding with her work in the "Under-Five Clinic National Program," and in Infant Feeding with her work on the "Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative" (subsequently replicated in 192 countries) which made her famous all over the world, where she banned infant formula milk from the Maternity Ward of Baguio General Hospital and enforced a regime of "rooming-in" of the infant.
She graduated as a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Sto. Tomas, and took her post-graduate Studies in Pediatrics in the Institute of Child Health (1974-75), London University; consequently she was given a travel grant to travel to East and West Africa, India and Thailand to observe Child Health practices; secured a fellowship in Human Milk Banking in Paris and London, got a scholarship for Lactation Management in the United States.
Dr. Natividad Clavano became the first and foremost Breastfeeding Advocate in the world, having started her involvement in the movement in 1975. In May 1978, Dr. Clavano of Baguio General Hospital in the Philippines traveled to Washington DC to attend a hearing of a US Senate Subcommittee under the chairmanship of Senator Ted Kennedy, where she galvanized the entire world with 10,000-baby study in her hospital by the total elimination of baby milk formula bottles and teats, from the maternity wards, resulted in a very dramatic reduction of infant illness and mortality. Senator Ted Kennedy joined the crusade against the milk companies and publicly demanded that the World Health Organization (WHO) do something about it. In 1981, three years later, the WHO/UNICEF passed the International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Other Related Products. The passing of the International Milk Code in 1981 is traceable to the appearance of Dr. Clavano in the Kennedy Subcommittee. In 1986, five years later, the revolutionary government of President Corazon Aquino signed into law Executive Order 51, known as the National Milk Code.
And here's an SMS from Ines Fernandez of Arugaan and Save Babies Coalition:
This news really saddens me. She has really had a great impact on my life. It
was through her that I truly understood, learned and believed about breastfeeding. I remember back in the early eighties when I joined UNICEF, I trooped along with the health section, DOH and NGOs to Baguio. And I sat through her lecture on breastfeeding. Her facts were mind openers and her intense passion convinced me that I shall breastfeed my children when I will have them [Mian breastfed all of her three children]. Dr. Clavano is a rare character. I am sure we shall all miss her.
Our breastfeeding doctor warrior passed away awaiting the Supreme Court's final verdict on the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Milk Code.