IN observance of the Family Planning and Breastfeeding Awareness Month, the Department of Health (DOH) 7 urged parents and reproductive women to visit their barangay health centers.
In a media forum yesterday, Medical Officer IV Jera Armendarez told reporters that a well educated community knows how to address health problems better.
“Although we’ve read books, it’s really not enough because we have different interpretations. The best provider would be the trained health workers. The essence of a woman is having a child, so let’s work together in making a better life for everybody through health education,” she said.
Aside from working in the barangay level and coordinating with the Department of Education, she said Central Visayas is the first region to implement family planning services in hospitals.
With this development, patients are no longer denied with their preferred methods of family planning “with the right access to information.”
Armendarez said that recent reports show Central Visayas as among the top three regions in the countrywith the highest prevalence of premarital sex.
To help people understand the program better, she said they’ve changed the name “family planning” to “responsible parenthood.”
“The program involves the distribution of free contraceptives in villages to women of reproductive ages 15 to 49. Pregnancy must be wanted and planned,” she said.
For younger females whose environment is exposed to sexual activity, parental consent or presence is required along with an intervention to ensure the dissemination of information.
Aside from this, DOH also encouraged mothers to exclusively breastfeed their children up to six months as the mother’s colostrum, or first milk, is the first form of vaccination for a child.
Medical Officer III Hayce Famor, however, clarified that it’s not necessary for mothers to stop breastfeeding when the child reaches six months. They can wait for the child to voluntarily stop.
“Were supporting moms (even those who’re working) to breastfeed. It’s not only good for the child, it also lessens the chances of ovarian and breast cancer, hypertension, heart problems and diabetes (for the mothers),” she said.