Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Presidential pronouncements on breastfeeding

Here's a report from Alex Iellamo of WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, from a recent conference on Infant and Young Child Feeding:

We are glad to inform you that on December 17 almost 300 Chiefs and Hospital Directors have gather in Manila Hotel to express their support to the Infant and Young Child Feeding Program of the Government.

The event was graced by the Secretary of Health, but the highlight of the day was the presence, and the strong message of support of the President of the Philippines, her Excellency Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

The President, in her keynote message, highlighted the following:
A) Breastfeeding as a fundamental strategy, to eliminate hunger and reduce child mortality in the Country;
B) That there is no "Substitute" for Mother's Milk…(In reiteration of what the Supreme Court of The Philippines, had also affirmed last October 9, in the final resolution of the Milk Code Case)
C) That with the Supreme Court upholding 56 out of 59 of the new provisions of the RIRR of the Milk Code, its time for all hospitals to support and contribute to the improvement of the Infant and Young Child Feeding Program of the Country…upholding the Milk Code of the Philippines and the Mother Baby Friendly Initiative of the Government

The President repeatedly stated in her message, that this Program should be tagged as the "Healthy Start Program…"

During the event, our Regional Director, Dr. Soe, presented the latest available scientific evidence in support of Breastfeeding, and the presentation was highly appreciated, in fact most of the participants as well as the other resource speakers requested for immedicate copies.

The year 2007 is ending with another important milestone for the IYCF Program, and for Child Survival in The Philippines. This is just a week after the Launching of the Philippines Child Survival Strategy, and now we have the President of the Republic, that reaffirms the importance of Breastfeeding, for the filipino children and the future of whole Country…

With this note, I wish to all of you a wonderful Christmas Season and a happy New Year


Photo @UNICEF/PHI/2007/J Bondoc

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