First 1,000 Days Law to boost health, nutrition of moms, kids

MANILA — Senator Sonny Angara lauded President Duterte’s signing of the First 1,000 Days Law, calling it “an important step towards securing a brighter future for Filipino children.”

Angara, principal author of the law in the Senate, said mothers and their children are now assured of better health care services during the early days of child development with the enactment of “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act.”

“The law aims to improve child survival and development with the first 1,000 days of life from conception up to two years of age, as it would protect both the mother and the child against malnutrition, diseases and even death,” Angara said.

He reiterated that every Filipino child “deserves a fair start in life that will enable them to reach their full potential.”

According to studies, a human being’s first 1,000 days is the critical window particularly in preventing child stunting and wasting.

Proper child nutrition during this period would not only prevent one-third of child deaths per year but would also improve school attainment necessary to curb poverty and increase wages, studies further show.

Data from the Food and Nutrition Research Institute indicate that chronic malnutrition among Filipino children under five years old has increased to 33.5 percent in 2015 from 30.5 percent in 2013.

To address this, the First 1,000 Days health package provides proper nutrition for pregnant mothers, improved breastfeeding and complementary feeding practices, protection against diseases, and appropriate feeding of children who are sick and undernourished.

The law also makes available and accessible vaccinations, check-ups, monitoring systems, and facilities such as breastfeeding stations and human milk banks.

“I am confident that the First 1,000 Days Law would boost maternal and child health and nutrition that would provide a pathway to good education and out of poverty, and cut child deaths in the country,” Angara said.

He added: “Child deaths and malnutrition remain highest in the poorest sector of society. We should put an end to this.” (Senate PR)