With young children being the most vulnerable of becoming underweight or severely malnourished, breastfeeding is seen as a key to establishing proper nutrition from infancy onwards.

To ensure that mothers are given proper guidance in this matter, the City Government of Catbalogan has teamed up with the National Nutrition Council to conduct the Orientation on Community Support for Infant and Young Children Feeding (IYCF) Program and Training of Community Mobilizers and Counsellors.

The objective of the orientation/training was to educate participants about the importance of proper nutrition among the infant and young children. With this knowledge, the organizers aim to create a pool peer counsellors that will guide pregnant and lactating mothers.

Thirty participants – consisting of the barangay chairperson, barangay councilor on health, school principal, senior citizen, rural health midwife, day care worker, SK representative, women’s group representative, community-based organization,bpurok leaders, barangay health workers, barangay nutrition scholars, mother leaders and identified IYCF Counsellors – were invited from Barangay Mercedes, the targeted pilot area that will serve as the learning ground of other barangays under this program.

On the other hand, potential IYCF counsellors were selected according to these criteria: experience in breastfeeding and community work, ability to read and write, residency in the community that she will counsel, similarity in background to the women to be counselled and her ability to commit time.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay; Photos by Ms. Elizabeth U. Velasco, Office of the City Mayor)

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