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The Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act and How It Helps Filipino Families

Medically reviewed by Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD · Pediatrics


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 14, 2022

The Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act and How It Helps Filipino Families

According to the World Health Organization, the world has seen significant improvement in the child mortality rate in the past decades. In 1990, the average death rate in children under five years old was 93 per 1000 live births; in 2019, it was down to 381. Still, the burden of child and youth deaths remains immense. 

Top causes of death include infectious illnesses, such as pneumonia and diarrheal diseases. However, experts agree that malnourished children are at a higher risk of dying. In fact, nutrition-related factors account for 45% of deaths in children under five2. This is why the first 1000 days of life are crucial.

Here’s why the first 1000 days of life are critical, and the benefits of the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act. 

First 1000 Days of Life: A Critical Period

The first 1000 days of life start from the point of conception to the child’s second birthday. According to experts, it is “a unique period of opportunity when the foundations of optimum health, growth, and neurodevelopment across the lifespan are established3.”

What’s concerning is that malnutrition — and other factors — can weaken this foundation. This often happens in families stricken with poverty who do not have access to the right information, quality healthcare services, and of course, nutritious food and clean water. 

Failing to take care of the baby in the first 1000 days of life may not only lead to death; it can also lead to other future morbidities and significant loss of neurodevelopmental potential. 

To help families take care of both mother and child in the first 1000 days since her pregnancy started, the Philippines signed the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act. 

Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act: How It Helps Filipino Families

Also known as the “First 1000 days” law, the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act was signed into law by President Rodrigo Duterte on November 29, 2018. 

This law aims to expand the country’s health and nutrition programs for children from the point of their conception to their second birthday. That means giving mother and child access to a complete range of nutrition and health services. These include everything from prenatal checkups to micronutrient supplementation. 

Under this law, pregnant mothers and their babies under the age of two can obtain5:

  • Appropriate assessment and counseling regarding multiple aspects, such as nutrition, mental health, healthy lifestyle practices, and child feeding practices
  • Mother and baby-friendly practices during labor and delivery and immediate newborn care
  • Protection, promotion, and support of optimal breastfeeding and complementary feeding based on national infant and young child feeding guidelines.
  • Dietary supplementation and feeding programs, particularly for children aged 6 to 23 months old and nutritionally at-risk pregnant and lactating mothers 
  • Age-appropriate micronutrient supplementation, including iron with folic acid, vitamin A, and calcium carbonate 
  • Age-appropriate maternal and child immunization 
  • Oral health services.
  • Anthelmintic tablets 
  • Comprehensive bio-psychosocial interventions during the first 1000 days of life 
  • Counseling and support to parents and caregivers on parent/caregiver to infant/child interactions 
  • Protection against abuse and violence 
  • Early referral to higher-level facilities to manage health conditions, including acute malnutrition 
  • Provision of a potable source of water and appropriate sanitation facilities and services 
  • Support for home kitchen gardens wherever feasible; provision of locally available grown crops, vegetables, and fruits in addition to other agricultural products to be used in complementary feeding and dietary supplementation 
  • Counseling on modern family planning methods 
  • Social welfare support
  • Assurance of women and child-friendly spaces during calamities, disasters, or other emergencies 
  • Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) coverage and utilization of benefit packages, and linkages to facility and community-based health and nutrition workers, and volunteers

Proceed to the Nearest Healthcare Center or Barangay Health Station

Healthcare centers and barangay health stations, under the supervision of the local government units, are assigned to implement the First 1000 Days law. That way, families who are in most need can have access to the provided services right away. 

Learn more about Baby Care here

Disclaimer

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD

Pediatrics


Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Sep 14, 2022

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