Last Wednesday, I was able to attend the launch of the Department of Health’s “Breastfeeding TSEK (Tama, Sapat, Eksklusibo) (Correct, Enough/Sufficient, Exclusive) program campaigning for mothers to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months of their newborns’ life.Although this news report quoted Sec. Ona, I didn’t see him at the launch, which was a pity because I was hoping to meet them. According to DOH Undersecretary David Lozada, they plan to reinvigorate the breastfeeding campaign due to the continued low prevalence of breastfeeding, despite their efforts to promote it. Among the steps DOH plans to take would be (1) sending peer counselors to communities and workplaces to educate couples about the benefits of breast milk, (2) coordinating with barangay health workers, civic organizations and other volunteer groups to train peer counselors and reach out to new and expectant moms and (3) bombard print media, TV, radio and internet with advertisements and other marketing strategies to promote a breastfeeding culture in the country.
The entire program was divided into 3 parts but I only got to attend the launch, with Gladys Reyes as host. As Dr. Silvestre said, what struck her most about the talk of Ms. Vanessa Tobin (UNICEF Representative) was her statement about complacency when it comes to breastfeeding – moms becoming complacent that it comes naturally, stakeholders thinking that it’s the same banana over and over again (more about this next post). There were presentations and I was happy to see that Stan’s breastfeeding photographs were exhibited on stage.
Sorry for the grainy photos!! Taken from my camera phone.
I was happy to get reconnected with fellow LATCHers and other breastfeeding advocates like Velvet of Arugaan, Kate of NNC, Iza of Beauty, Brains and Breastfeeding and Dr. Mianne Silvestre. We discussed about the problems our groups faced and the things we could do to further support breastfeeding in the Philippines.
Honestly, we lost a great breastfeeding advocate when former DOH Secretary Francisco Duque was transferred to the Civil Service Commission. I am hopeful though that with the launch of this project, Sec. Ona will indeed push and support the campaign for exclusive breastfeeding in the Philippines.
LATCHers at the launch with QC Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte
*photo courtesy of Mec who blogs at http://www.mecasmom.com/
What do you think of the new campaign?