THEY say Christmas is for children. But Malabon Mayor Antolin ‘Lenlen’ Oreta is taking this view to a higher level by celebrating Christmas with a program that promotes love and care also for kids still in the womb and the mothers carrying them.
Ridding Malabon of malnutrition, Mayor Oreta recently launched “Buntis-Chikiting Patrollers (ButChiPats),” aimed at pro-actively safeguarding maternal and children health conditions of Malabonians especially on the first 1000 days from conception.
Sixty three ButChiPats were presented in a simple ceremony as they were officially introduced to the community and dispatched as field workers to the 21 barangays of the city.
Said patrollers who were active participants in the city’s ongoing health projects, previously went through arduous capacity building program owing to the implementation of City Ordinance No. 08-2018 or the “First 1000 Days Ordinance.”
“The first 1000 days (of life) is very important in assuring the good condition of mental and physical development of a child… and the mother should take necessary supplementation, right calorie intake and proper diet to provide nutrient needed by the fetus,” Medical Nutrition Coordinator Mitzi A. Tanchoco stated.
Due to Oreta urging at the City Council, Malabon enacted the ordinance even ahead of Malacañang signing of Republic Act 11148, or the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act,” the national counterpart of said ordinance.
Accordingly, ButChiPats are to be fielded specifically to locate pregnant women and undernourished children in the city, counsel and endorse them to corresponding health centers for due action and intervention.
The Mayor believes “malnutrition and other health related risks can be prevented by expectant mothers and their babies if appropriate measures are taken at the early stage of pregnancy.”
To date, ButChiPats are reaching out to pregnant Malabonian mothers and ensure that they undergo at least eight pre-natal check-ups/medical consultations in Barangay Health Centers, Pagamutang Bayan ng Malabon (Birthing Home) or Ospital ng Malabon.
During pregnancy, beneficiaries enlisted by ButChiPats will immediately be entitled to free basic laboratory procedures such as ultra-sounds, urinalysis, Complete Blood Count (CBC) as well as nutrition counseling and family planning sessions.
After birth, newborns shall be obliged as well to a monthly “well-babies check-up” aside from their immunization schedules, to manage their overall well-being.
The ButChiPat project aims to address said risks and uphold the health conditions of pregnant mothers and young Malabonians as well, who are the foundations and the cause of the city’s progress and development,” the mayor emphasized.