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JULY is NUTRITION MONTH   |   July, 2019

VAXCEN supports the celebration of NUTRITION MONTH in support for both children and adults to reduced sedentary behavior and greater push for more physical activity and eating healthy. 

Presidential Decree 491 in 1974 declared that Nutrition Month shall be held every July to create greater awareness on the importance of nutrition among Filipinos. The law mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to coordinate and lead the nationwide campaign.

The 2019 Nutrition Month theme is “Kumain nang wasto at maging aktibo… push natin ‘to!” (Eat healthy and do physical activity … let’s push this!)

“The theme encourages everyone to advocate and realize the importance of healthy diet, increased physical activity and reduced sedentary behavior. Pushing the advocacy means that each and everyone can contribute to better nutrition and physical activity for better health,” NNC nutrition program coordinator Arlene R. Reario said.


In time for Nutrition Month being observed every July, Save the Children Philippines urged mothers to exclusively breastfeed their newborns as malnutrition remains on steady rise among babies and pre-schoolers in the country.

Save the Children Philippines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Albert Muyot said community health and nutrition workers should intensify campaigns on breastfeeding, complementary feeding and proper nutrition particularly among children of deprived families and marginalized communities.

Muyot, who is a former Undersecretary of the DepEd, also raised concern over the results of the 2018 Expanded National Nutrition Survey by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) presented last June which showed increasing prevalence of malnutrition and anemia among babies and toddlers.

The nutrition survey, Muyot said, should serve as “a wake-up call.” Citing additional data, the group noted that “anemia cases among babies six to 11 months increased to 48.2 per cent in 2018 from 40.5 per cent in 2013, while anemia among toddlers aged one to two years old have increased to 35.4 per cent last year from 24.7 per cent in 2013” while stunting— a life threatening condition due to chronic undernutrition— “remains high at 36.6 per cent for children two years old in 2018, from 36.2 per cent in 2013.”

Malnutrition among pre-schoolers is also high particularly among three years old at 33.8 per cent in 2018 from 38.6 in 2013; and four years old at 30.2 percent last year from 36.8 in 2013,” Save the Children Philippines said.

To help address these, Muyot noted that “exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months and continued breastfeeding up to two years old will provide critical nutrients and protection to infants against life threatening diseases and improve their immune system.” Globally, the group noted that “exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months prevents deaths of 1.3 million children below five years old every year.”

Save the Children Philippines has also been campaigning to eradicate malnutrition among children through maternal and child health and nutrition programs for children and pregnant and lactating mothers in deprived areas in the cities of Malabon, Navotas and Caloocan of Metro Manila as well as conflict affected areas of Mindanao.

Muyot urged local leaders to implement Republic Act 11148 or the First 1,000 Days Law that ensures optimum health and nutrition for children from conception up to two years old. He said the first 1,000 days of a child’s life is considered a “critical window of opportunity” when physical growth and brain development are very crucial, and damage could be permanent or irreversible. “We call on local government leaders to invest in safe motherhood and children’s health and well-being by providing more funds for maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition programs,” said he added.

Meanwhile, Save the Children Philippines Health and Nutrition Advisor Dr. Amado Parawan said government programs on maternal and child health and nutrition should focus on priority areas with high malnutrition rates – mostly in conflict affected areas in Mindanao.

“Malnutrition is a very complex problem with long-term effects physically, mentally and socially,” Parawan said. “With the passage of RA 11148, now is the perfect time to mobilize collaborative actions from all sectors…we should always remember that takes a village to raise and nurture a child,” he ended.

Save the Children Philippines is implementing Nutrition among Urban Poor Through Unified Response (NURTURE) project in 8 pilot barangays of Navotas, which aims to contribute to the reduction of deaths under-5 girls and boys through improved health and nutrition among children and their mothers/caregivers.

The project implements nutrition-specific and nutrition sensitive interventions focusing on the first 1,000 days of life preventing stunting and wasting and improving maternal nutrition. It also emphasizes the involvement of men and family members in all the interventions as part of the support system within the household.

Among the strategies of NURTURE project are the establishment of Supplemental Feeding Program or Dietary Supplementation, establishment of a functional Out-patient Care (OTC), establishment of two-way functioning referral In-patient Care, community mobilization and partnership for multi-sectoral convergence, and social protection support through Conditional Cash Transfer.





MARCH 24 is WORLD TUBERCULOSIS DAY   |   March, 2019

VAXCEN supports the celebration of World Tuberculosis Day in support for both children and adults with TB, the survivors, and their families addressing the timely issues on the prevention and control of this preventable and curable disease. Each year, we commemorate World Tuberculosis (TB) Day on March 24 to raise public awareness about the devastating health, social and economic consequences of TB, and to step up efforts to end the global TB epidemic. The date marks the day in 1882 when Dr Robert Koch announced that he had discovered the bacterium that causes TB, which opened the way towards diagnosing and curing this disease.

TB remains the world’s deadliest infectious killer. Each day, nearly 4500 people lose their lives to TB and close to 30,000 people fall ill with this preventable and curable disease. Global efforts to combat TB have saved an estimated 54 million lives since the year 2000 and reduced the TB mortality rate by 42%. To accelerate the TB response in countries to reach targets – Heads of State came together and made strong commitments to end TB at the first-ever UN High Level Meeting in September 2018.

The theme of World TB Day 2019 - ‘It’s time’ – puts the accent on the urgency to act on the commitments made by global leaders to:

  • Scale up access to prevention and treatment;
  • Build accountability;
  • Ensure sufficient and sustainable financing including for research;
  • Promote an end to stigma and discrimination, and
  • Promote an equitable, rights-based and people-centered TB response.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has launched a joint initiative “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” with the Global Fund and Stop TB Partnership, with the aim of accelerating the TB response and ensuring access to care, in line with WHO’s overall drive towards Universal Health Coverage. 

This World TB Day, WHO calls on governments, affected communities, civil society organizations, health-care providers, and national/international partners to unite forces under the banner “Find. Treat. All. #EndTB” to ensure no one is left behind. 

It’s time for action! It’s time to End TB.

Source: World Health Organization



VAXCEN Supports the International Childhood Cancer Day   |   February, 2019

International Childhood Cancer Day (ICCD) is celebrated annually on 15 February to raise awareness and to express support for children and adolescents with cancer, survivors and their families.

Each year, approximately 300,000 children are diagnosed with cancer – a disease that touches countless families and communities in all regions of the world. With access to quality care, more than 80% of children with cancer can survive, living full and healthy lives. However, many children in low-income and middle income countries do not receive or complete care, and, as a result, over 90% of childhood cancer deaths occur in low resource settings.

A global response is needed to give every child the best chance of surviving cancer free – to raise awareness, improve access, better understand why and where children are diagnosed with cancer through cancer registries, and offer the best possible treatment, palliative care and support for children and their families. WHO has highlighted the importance of diagnosing childhood cancer early and improving access to treatment for children and adolescents with cancer.

On International Childhood Cancer Day, we pause to recognize contributions from advocates around the world and call for renewed collaboration to care for children with cancer globally.


Source: World Health Organization




KICK-START OUR 2019 WITH THESE HEALTHY 12 TIPS   |   January, 2019

According to World Health Organization (W.H.O.) recent post on their twitter account, the following are the twelve best healthy tips to welcome our new year ensuring you and your family members be well protected, stronger and in great shape this 2019. 


Source: World Health Organization




The Department of Health announced that it is aiming to achieve zero firecracker-related injuries in celebrating theNew year's Eve as the nation welcomes 2019. Together with its National Capital Regional (NCR) office, the Department of Education , Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, City of Manila and Eco-Waste Coalition said this during the press conference that informed the public about their readiness to handle the festivities and anticipate a minimal, if not zero injuries, throughout the whole season. 

“Oplan: Iwas Paputok. Fireworks Display ang Patok! Makiisa sa Community Fireworks sa Inyong Lugar” remains to be this year’s slogan in keeping with the newly approved Executive Order No. 28 entitled, “Providing for the Regulation and Control of the Use of Firecrackers and other Pyrotechnic Devices.”

The Executive Order signed by President Rodrigo Duterte stipulates that the use of firecrackers shall be confined to community fireworks display to minimize the risk of injuries and casualties. Conduct of community fireworks display will also be continuously promoted as a strategy to, at least maintain the low injury status in the country.

From 21 December 2016 to 05 January 2017, a total of 630 fireworks-related injuries were recorded by DOH sentinel sites. These are 319 cases (34 percent) less than the five-year (2011-2015) average and 292 cases (32 percent) less compared to the same time period of last year. Of the total 630 cases, 627 were from fireworks injuries and 3 cases of fireworks/firecrackers ingestion. There was NO death reported.
The cooperation among local government units was seen to have contributed to the lowering of firecracker-related injuries. Hence, one of the focus of the ongoing campaign is promotion of the use of alternative means of merrymaking and avoidance of the use of firecrackers especially by school children, which is also one of the provisions stated under the law.

The DOH recognizes that this campaign involves various agencies. Close collaboration and conduct of strategic advocacy activities with different stakeholders is necessary.

As a result, the health department is intensifying its campaign against the use of firecrackers despite the fact that it is one of the Filipino traditions in celebration of the yuletide season especially New Year, making it difficult to undo.

The DOH also developed a communication plan to be disseminated publicly with messages revolving around the avoidance of the use of firecrackers among children. This must be reinforced by the parents, for the welfare and safety of their children must emanate from them.

“Be safe during the holidays. I encourage everyone to join community fireworks displays in your barangays. In the unfortunate event of an injury, seek immediate medical treatment for all fireworks-related ones,” Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III declared.

“The DOH commends its partner agencies for enthusiastically working with us towards ensuring a peaceful, prosperous and injury-free celebration as we welcome the coming new year in the country and the rest of the world,” the Secretary concluded. (DOH)






The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the National Youth Commission (NYC) shall lead the observance of National Children's Month (NCM) with the theme "Isulong: Tamang Pag-aaruga Para sa Lahat ng Bata", on November, pursuant to Republic Act 10661, s. 2015 or the "National Children's Month Act."

This 2018 marks the 26th NCM celebration in the Philippines and the launch of the Philippine Plan of Action to End Violence Against Children (PPAEVAC) which translates the findings of the 2015 National Baseline Study in Violence Against Children (NBC-VAC) into specific action.

To promote public awareness in the observance of the event, all government agencies are encouraged to extend their full support through the following activities:

• Display the 26th NCM official stremer in the agency's premises including Regional and Field Offices;

• Recite the "Panatng Makabata" on the Flag Raisinf Ceremony of November 5, 2018 (Monday) as the date of NCM Kick-Off Celebration;

• Development, production and distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials for the 26th NCM themewhich includes collaterals developed by CWC;

• Posting of the NCM official logo and the 26th NCM theme, audio-visual presentation and other NCM advocacy materials in government agencies' website and social media accounts; 

• Organize activities or events that may be relevant to the theme (agencies may encode the details of their activities through the link: or submit through email at inclusion in the official 26th NCM Calendar of Activities); and

• Participate in all NCM major activities and NCM related activities nationwide.

Image Credit:




CLEAN HANDS - A Recipe for Health   |   October 2018

Global Handwashing Day is a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. It is an opportunity to design, test, and replicate creative ways to encourage people to wash their hands with soap at critical times. In 2018, the Global Handwashing Day theme is ‘Clean hands - A recipe for health’. The theme focuses on the links between handwashing and food, including food hygiene and nutrition. Handwashing is an important part of keeping food safe, preventing diseases, and helping children grow strong.

Handwashing and Food Hygiene - Handwashing with soap is an important part of food hygiene, a set of hygienic practices that keep food safe and prevent food-related illnesses. Other important aspects of food hygiene include: keeping utensils and dishes clean, properly storing and reheating food, boiling water and milk where needed, and thoroughly cooking food. Up to 70 percent of cases of diarrhea may be associated with poor food hygiene. Food-borne illnesses are a major cause of death in low income settings, particularly among children under 5. Contamination of food can lead to a wide range of illnesses and outbreaks, many of which are particularly dangerous for pregnant women, fetuses, and people with compromised immune systems. Hygiene promotion activities have shown improved food hygiene behaviors and reduced contamination in food.One study with mothers in Nepal showed that food hygiene behavior change, including improved handwashing, is feasible through a behavior-centered intervention process. Critical food-related times for handwashing with soap include: before cooking or preparing food, before eating, and before feeding someone (including breastfeeding). Caregivers should wash their own hands at all critical times, and model or enforce good handwashing behavior for children. Caregivers include parents, siblings, other relatives, school or daycare professionals, and others. Research indicates that existing routines can be modified to help form new habits. For example, a meal can serve as a ‘trigger’ moment for handwashing. Habitual handwashing is more likely when handwashing facilities are established, and time is set aside for handwashing before eating, to help develop a group norm.

Handwashing and Nutrition - Hygiene is important for improving nutrition but is not a stand-alone solution. Improving handwashing with soap is considered a nutrition-sensitive intervention. Handwashing prevents diarrheal diseases, which not only contribute to the deaths of many children under five but limit the body’s ability to absorb nutrition from food. The negative effects of undernutrition during the first 1,000 days on physical growth, immune system and brain development may be irreversible. Promotion of handwashing with soap is estimated to reduce diarrheal diseases by between 27% and 48%. Handwashing with soap and the use of clean drinking water could reduce the loss of nutrients through diarrhea and reduce stunting in children under 5 by up to 15%. The contamination of food items with fecal matter is a known cause of chronic environmental enteric dysfunction (EED), also called environmental enteropathy. EED reduces the intestines’ capacity to absorb nutrients. There is research suggesting that a body experiencing EED cannot absorb nutrients because it is too busy fighting off diseases. Children with diarrhea not only eat less but are less able to absorb nutrients from food. This makes future diarrhea more likely, since undernourished children are more likely to develop diarrhea. Poor hygiene is also linked to wasting and severe acute malnutrition. Handwashing at critical times can reduce the likelihood of wasting and is particularly important in the first months of life. However, handwashing without improvement in other water, sanitation, hygiene (WASH) and socio-economic factors is unlikely to be sufficient to protect against acute malnutrition. A randomized control study in Chad showed that providing a basic WASH package was effective in improving recovery rates from severe acute malnutrition, including the duration of time it took to recover and the amount of weight children regained. Evidence does not consistently show additional benefit to the integration of WASH with nutrition, and more research is needed to understand how hygiene promotion relates to nutrition outcomes. Two major studies published in 2018 showed no additional benefit to the integration of WASH with nutrition, compared with nutrition alone. Despite these results, the biological pathways that link WASH to nutrition remain plausible and handwashing with soap is likely to remain an important part of future interventions.

What You Can Do - Handwashing has multiple benefits for food hygiene, nutrition, and overall health and well-being. On Global Handwashing Day and every day, here are some ways you can help everyone enjoy the benefits of handwashing with soap:

• Wash your hands with soap at critical times, especially before eating, cooking, or feeding others.

• Model good handwashing behavior and remind or help others to always wash their hands before eating.

• Make handwashing a routine part of your family meals.

• Establish places to wash your hands in the household, in your community, in schools, workplaces, and in health facilities.

• Promote effective handwashing behavior change in research, policy, programs, and advocacy.

Sources:; Lather Up. Credit:






World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. It is an opportunity to unite as a community and for individuals, NGOs and governments to connect and share their work.

Created and coordinated annually by GARC, World Rabies Day, September 28th, focuses on rabies endemic countries, to increase community awareness of the disease and its prevention. World Rabies Day also raises the profile of national and local control programs and acts as a springboard for year-round capacity building and awareness.

World Rabies Day is a great annual opportunity to increase awareness by holding an event, getting the media interested in your work and connecting with the wider rabies prevention community.

The World Rabies Day 2018 theme is Rabies: Share the message. Save a life. This highlights the importance of education and awareness to prevent rabies. You can use this at many levels to share different messages, from the policy-level message to governments to commit to the 2030 deadline, to community-level messages about vaccinating dogs and treating bite wounds, and dog bite prevention education for school children.







The month of August was declared as National Lung Month in the Philippines through the Presidential Proclamation No. 1761 signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos on July 24, 1978.

Our lungs are indeed very important and it is susceptible to many diseases. Luckily for us, these illnesses and ailments are quite easy to avoid! We just need to adopt a healthy lifestyle. 

In celebration of National Lung Month, first and foremost, we are encouraging everyone to update your vaccination against the dreaded disease of pneumonia (pulmonya) most escpecially among children and our senior citizens family members.

REMEMBER: An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.








Nutrition Month is an annual campaign held every July to create greater awareness on the importance of nutrition among Filipinos. Presidential Decree 491 (1974) mandates the National Nutrition Council (NNC) to lead and coordinate the nationwide campaign. Throughout the years, the Nutrition Month celebration has been institutionalized by schools and local government units as well as other stakeholders. This year is the 43rd Nutrition Month celebration.

This year’s theme is "Ugaliing magtanim, Sapat na nutisyon aanihin!"

This theme focuses on food production at home through the family's own garden. This is the food planted at home (inside our outside your home), in your little backyard or farm.

Common characteristics of food garden are:
A. Located at home.
B. Has different varieties of plants.
C. Serves as supplemental rather than a main source of family's food consumption or income.
D. Mostly small areas.
E. Very easy to start.

The Nutrition Month Theme 2018 aims to improve the healthy food consumption of Filipinos, food security or to be self-sufficient as possible with backyard gardening.

Having food gardens can help improve the family as well as the community's food security. If you have plenty of vegetables or fruit crops, you can even sell some of them to earn additional income for the family.

Remember this year's Nutrition Month central theme surrounds on the idea of family food gardening.




Influenza (also known as the flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by flu viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu is different from a cold. The flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
• Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
• Cough
• Sore throat
• Runny or stuffy nose
• Muscle or body aches
• Headaches
• Fatigue (tiredness)
• Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
* It's important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.

Most people who get influenza will recover in several days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications as a result of the flu. A wide range of complications can be caused by influenza virus infection of the upper respiratory tract (nasal passages, throat) and lower respiratory tract (lungs). While anyone can get sick with flu and become severely ill, some people are more likely to experience severe flu illness. Young children, adults aged 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic medical conditions are among those groups of people who are at high risk of serious flu complications, possibly requiring hospitalization and sometimes resulting in death. For example, people with chronic lung disease are at higher risk of developing severe pneumonia.





SOURCES: DILG ( & Philippine Cancer Facts and Estimates

The month of May has been declared as Cervical Cancer Prevention Awareness Month in Philippines to build public awareness on cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer is malignant tumor of the cervix uteri or cervical area. Cervical area of the uterus, which usually called “uterine cervix”, is the part of uterus which connects uterine body to the vaginal. Most of cervical cancer start at transformation zone, place where endocervix meet.

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the common cause of the virus. 99.7% of cervical cancer cases are caused by HPV. Every women is at risk of cervical cancer, married, single and even those who has no experience when in comes to sexual intercourse.




SOURCE: World Health Organization




SOURCES: PIDSP (Pediatric Infectious Disease Society of the Philippines),PPS (Philippine Pediatric Society) & PFV (Philippine Foundation for Vaccination)




SOURCE: PFV (Philippine Foundation for Vaccination)




VACCINATIONS: Not Just For Kids   |   January, 2018

Did you know more then 50,000 Filipino adults die due to diseases that could be prevented through immunization each year?