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RO9 BloodDiseasesMonthBlood circulates through our body and delivers essential substances like oxygen and nutrients to the body cells. It also transports metabolic waste products away from those same cells. Blood is essential because there is no substitute for it. In order to create awareness and understanding in blood-related diseases, the month of September of every year is Blood Diseases Month by virtue of Proclamation No. 1833 signed on July 6, 2009, by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Accordingly, blood-diseases related to nutrition and environmental conditions continue to increase in prevalence and pose serious effects to Filipinos. The most common blood disorder is anemia, which is a condition where the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. In treating this type of blood disorder, it is important to increase the number of healthy red blood cells in the body. Another common blood disorder is hemophilia, which is a genetic disorder that affects the blood’s ability to clot due to low levels of blood-clotting proteins. Unfortunately, there is no cure yet for this condition. The only treatment available is replacement therapy, wherein concentrates of clotting factor VIII (for hemophilia A) and IX (for hemophilia B) are slowly dripped or injected into the vein.

RO9 ObesityObesity is a common health problem affecting millions of people all over the globe. It is a condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health. It has been a considerable health problem in the Philippines thus, by virtue of Proclamation No. 162 dated August 21, 1999, the former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada declared the first week of September of every year as the Obesity Prevention Awareness Week in the Philippines.

It has been observed that obesity is among the many growing variables in the country to cause serious health problems due to the growing addiction to the Western type of lifestyle and diet that could adversely affect national socio-economic development. If one wants to know if he or she is obese, the World Health Organization (WHO) points out that one may use the height (in meters) and weight (in kilograms) to calculate the body mass index (BMI), which is quantified by dividing the weight by the square height (kg/m2). If the BMI resulted to greater or equal to 25, it is interpreted as overweight. On the other hand, a BMI equal or greater than 30 is considered obese.

RO9 EnrichContinued breastfeeding for two years or longer helps a child to develop and grow strong and healthy. However, when the child reached 6 months breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet the child’s nutritional needs and therefore complementary foods are needed for a growing child in addition to breastmilk. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines complementary feeding as giving of additional foods or liquid starting at 6 months because breast milk alone is no longer sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of infants.

As the child gets older, they need more food to have more energy to grow and be active. According to WHO, six months of age is a good time to start giving complementary foods. This is the age where babies are more attracted to complementary foods because they already show interest when they see other people eating and reach for food, put things in their mouth and can already control their tongue better to move food around their mouth. Before preparing complementary foods for babies, mothers and their family members must know the ways to enrich the baby’s foods. Here are some ways to enrich the baby’s food:

RO9 ComfedProper nutrition during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood is vital to ensure growth, health and development of a child. Breastfeeding is known for its numerous benefits for the mother and the child. It provides superior nutrition for optimum growth, protects against infection and allergies and promotes bonding and development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months, and give complementary foods starting at 6 months while continuing breastfeeding up to two years of age or beyond.

Complementary feeding is the process of giving an infant food in addition to breast milk. When the child turns 6 months of age, his or her nutrient needs increases, thus what is provided by breast milk alone is not sufficient that is why complementary foods are necessary to meet those needs. However, mothers, caregivers and family members must learn the proper way in giving complementary foods in order to ensure that the infant’s nutritional needs are met. Here are some tips for appropriate complementary feeding for your baby:

RO9 Sight Saving MonthPursuant to Proclamation No. 40, yearly, every month of August is celebrated as the National Sight Saving Month in the Philippines. This celebration aims to spread public awareness on the importance of proper eye care to prevent eye diseases and to encourage the nation to be aware of the available means in restoring the lost eyesight and the value of organ donation.

Among the five senses that a human being has, so far the most important organs are the eyes. About 80% of what a person perceives comes from the sense of sight. It is also believed that, if other senses such as the sense of taste or smell stop working, it’s your eyes that will best protect you from danger. Your eyes, similar to the other parts of your body, are also subject to stress and injury and might possibly lose their ability if not properly taken cared of. By protecting your eyes, you will reduce the chance of having vision loss and other developing eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma.

RO9 ImmunizationThe World Health Organization (WHO) defines adolescents as individuals who belong in the 10-19 years age group. Many adolescents continue to be affected by vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, hepatitis B, pertussis, meningitis and rubella because vaccination programs have not focused on improving immunization coverage among adolescents. Thus, to raise awareness on the important roles of vaccines on preventing serious diseases for adolescents, yearly the month of August is celebrated as National Adolescents Immunization month in the Philippines.

The adolescent period is the time that an individual experiences dynamic development since it is the phase of transition to adulthood. It is the perfect period that adolescents should be educated on the effective preventive care measures that promote safe behaviors and the development of lifelong health habits such as timely immunization. This is the best way to avoid serious and deadly diseases that may not only be experienced during childhood, but may also pass on to your adolescent years.