Tomorrow, LATCHers will be going on a breastfeeding mission at Ultra, where 500 familes (about 2,000 individuals) are housed. These families are evacuees who were formerly housed in public schools. But they have been transferred to Ultra to allow the students to resume classes.
According to Dr. Zeka (who coordinated with UNICEF/WHO/DOH on behalf of LATCH), what is being sought is several visits to the evacuation center to give support to the local government units (who previously had established breastfeeding support systems) whose services were disrupted by Ondoy. Despite the Milk Code, donations of formula milk are still being requested and continue to pour in. In fact, last Saturday, when I was at the Ateneo covered courts volunteering for the repacking, I saw a mountain of repackaged formula milk – various brands.
LATCH will be bringing some pasteurized breastmilk from PGH-NICU milk bank to provide temporary relief to mothers/infants where the mother is too ill to breastfeed, or the baby is fully dependent on formula. However, the ultimate goal is the return to exclusive breastfeeding of as many mothers as possible, and to protect those who are already breastfeeding so that they continue to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months and then continue to breastfeed with the addition of complementary food.
Velvet of Arugaan was hoping to conduct a cooking demo to encourage moms to use indigenous foods in complementary feeding. However, given the limited preparation time, this may be postponed for the next visit.
More updates after the activity…