IYCF program needs LGU support

BAGUIO CITY, Oct. 10 (PNA) — The Regional Nutrition Committee (RNC), through RNC Resolution number 05 s. 2015, is encouraging the local government units (LGUs) in the Cordillera Region to organize breastfeeding support groups to strengthen the implementation of the Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) program.

Bella Basalong, National Nutrition Council (NNC), on Friday said the IYCF program aims to improve the health and nutrition status of infants and young children through appropriate breastfeeding and complementary feeding and contribute to the reduction of infant and child mortality and morbidity.

Organizing breastfeeding support groups is one of the many strategies the RNC has adopted to promote the IYCF program, which was an option in the Philippines IYCF Strategic Plan of Action for 2011-2016, Basalong said.

The group is composed of IYCF counsellors to provide support either to individual or groups of pregnant women and mothers with children 0-2 years old in the form of individual or group counseling, wet-nursing, child minding and other practical help to enable the adoption of appropriate IYCF practices.

The support group will identify target mothers and children, conduct home visits, counsel mothers or caregivers and refer mothers needing clinical management or treatment.

Based on 2011 Family Health Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO), 49.2 percent of mothers in the Cordillera Region are exclusively breastfeeding their babies.

The percentage is the highest among all regions, Basalong said, but still low against the number of mothers. (PNA)