IN observance of World Immunization Week every last week of April, the National Nutrition Council 7 reminds barangay nutrition scholars (BNSs) of their role in educating pregnant and lactating mothers whose children require routine vaccinations to be protected from infections, such as polio, measles, and tetanus.
“As an agency under the Department of Health, NNC helps ensure that the BNSs are carrying out the education component during prenatal care and delivery of services for pregnant women so that these future mothers can appreciate early the importance of immunization for their children,” said Mission.
Section 4 of Republic Act 10152 or the Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act states that all health care workers administering prenatal care should “educate all pregnant mothers on the importance of giving their infants the basic immunization services as well as any possible effects of immunization.”
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According to NNC 7, the BNSs in the region are doing the following:
• Include education campaign-related activities in their action plans.
• Hold classes with topics on child immunization during prenatal checkups.
• Include topics on child immunization in programs, such as Idol Ko Si Nanay, a nutrition education intervention for pregnant women.
• Every six months, NNC conducts capacity mapping to survey the level of updated knowledge of public health and nutrition workers on topics like immunization and pre- and post-natal care.
“Each year, vaccines prevent more than 2.5 million child deaths globally. An additional two million child deaths could be prevented each year through immunization with the currently available vaccines for children,” said registered nurse Ruff Vincent Valdevieso, nurse coordinator for the National Immunization Program in Central Visayas, during NNC 7’s April 15, 2021 live stream episode of Educational Health and Nutrition Information Sharing Geared Towards Development.
To show the impact of the education campaign of BNSs for women, Dr. Parolita Mission, regional nutrition program coordinator of NNC 7, cited a 2018 National Demographic and Health Survey that reveals 72.2 percent of children in Central Visayas age 12-23 months have received all basic vaccinations. (NRC)