Sen. Grace Poe underscored the need for government intervention for children in their first 1,000 days to spare them from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
“While our eyes are firmly focused on defeating the virus, we must not forget the babies and children who should be protected from hunger and malnutrition,” Poe said.
“In any crisis, the children are among the vulnerable who suffer disproportionately,” Poe stressed.
In continuously looking after their well-being, Poe pushed for essential relief assistance to families with pregnant mothers and children aged 0 to 24 months.
Poe authored and sponsored Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act that ensures adequate funding support in addressing malnutrition among mothers and their newborn children in the first 1,000 days.
Poe proposed that funds under this law be used to guarantee that mothers and babies have continuous supply of nutritious food amid the quarantine period.
“It takes a village to raise a child. We should work together to give the children the health and nutrition they deserve,” she said.
Poe said it is important that social services dealing with the coronavirus disease are child-focused.
“Caring for babies in the midst of this crisis is ensuring our own future and hope,” Poe said.
Poe emphasized that malnourishment of the mother and the child will affect the development of the brain and functions of the organs, whose effects are irreversible beyond 1,000 days.
Poe commended barangays who make efforts to do the rounds and bring the services to the people, especially the most vulnerable.
“This must include pregnant and lactating mothers, and children in their first 1,000 days. What the future will look like for them is our responsibility today,” she said.
Earlier, Poe donated full sets of personal protective equipment to Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital which is a maternal and newborn facility as her support to the care of mothers and children.