DAVAO CITY, Philippines – The South Korean aid agency Korea International Cooperation Agency will fund the “First 1,000 days of Life” project here, the City Health Office announced Tuesday.
City Health Officer Dr. Josephine Villafuerte met with a team from the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) and KOICA who arrived here to visit Lumad communities in Baguio, Marilog, and Paquibato Districts in the city.
A City Information Office dispatch said the project includes health education for the community, “particularly involving mothers, on topics such as proper sanitation and hygiene and the importance of breastfeeding.”
Villafuerte said the health and nutrition of both the mother and the child will determine the child’s health and its ability to learn in school within the said period from the first day of pregnancy until the second birthday of the child. A child’s growth and development is rapid during the first 1,000 days of life which is also said to be the “critical window of opportunity to shape long-term health.”
“Every event and nutritional needs spanning from day one of pregnancy will be looked after through the district health centers,” Villafuerte said adding that the program aims to “primarily prevent the stunting of the body and the brain of the child.”
Villafuerte said the implementation of the project in lumad communities in Davao is only the initial stage. The project will eventually be implemented across the city. (davaotoday.com)