With latest health reports of increasing number of
COVID-19 infection among children, World Vision urges family members especially
the parents and adult caregivers to be mindful of the prescribed minimum health
standards even while at home to also protect children and prevent viral
transmission amidst the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
World Vision, an international child-focused NGO, also
expressed its support to all stakeholders in upholding everyone’s welfare
especially of children amidst the ECQ and heightened restrictions in selected
areas threatened by the more contagious Delta variant.
World Vision National Director Rommel V. Fuerte raised
the need for adults to take this development seriously and be aware of
children's risks if they remain complacent.
As of August 12, the Department of Health (DOH)
records 87,663 active COVID-19 cases, making the overall total number of cases in
the Philippines since last year to 1,700,363. Infected children nine years old
and below comprise 4% or 65,558 cases while those between 10 to 19 years old
represent 7% or 116,035.
Nationwide, the top six most affected regions are the
National Capital Region, Region II Cagayan Valley, Region III Central Luzon,
Region IV-A CALABARZON, Region VI Western VIsayas and Region VII Central
“While there is urgency for adults to be vaccinated,
we also call for the government to hasten the testing and immediate
availability of safe and effective vaccines for children,” he added.
“Together with our partners, we pray that the global
milestones in fighting this pandemic can be realized here in our country as
well,” hopes Fuerte, who is also a Board Member of the Council for the Welfare
of Children (CWC) under the Department of Social Welfare and Development
Recently, a study by World Vision revealed that during
lockdowns, children and their households suffer from a significant lack of
access to basic health care services, increasing the risk of maternal and child
During this pandemic, the child development agency
also stressed the need to ensure babies' proper nutrition. World Vision
technical program manager for health and nutrition Carleneth San Valentin,
underscores the need to promote, protect and uphold the exclusive breastfeeding
among mothers, as a practical defense
for infants zero to six months old against dreaded and preventable diseases
“The Implementing Rules and Regulations of laws that
support breastfeeding are clearly provided in Executive Order No. 51 or the
Philippine Milk Code and Republic Act 11148 or the “Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng
Mag-nanay Act”, the Health and Nutrition expert said while warning that
breastmilk substitutes that undermine breastfeeding should not be included in
the general distribution of emergency food packs.
San Valentin also added that everyone comply with
guidelines from DOH Nutrition Cluster Advisory No. 1, Series 2020 which states
that family food packs should contain age-and culturally-appropriate, clean and
nutritious food items to promote proper nutrition of children.
As stricter community quarantine protocols are
implemented, children, based on the same Rapid Assessment, have expressed
negative emotions such as sadness, fear and worry. It stated that almost half
of the respondent parents and caregivers admitted that they have used physical
or psychological punishment to children.
“A number of children are unaware or unsure about
child protection services in their communities,” shared World Vision Technical
Program Manager for Child Protection Jezreel Domingo, “so we urge the
government to activate and ensure the functionality of Violence against Women
and Children Desks and Barangay Councils for the Protection of Children, as
stated in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Advisory of
She also said that ensuring the continued functioning
of child-friendly reporting mechanisms such as SOS hotlines allow concerned
citizens to report any incident of abuse or exploitation.
The Child Protection Expert also reminded community
stakeholders to enforce and monitor the DILG-CWC Joint Memorandum Circular No.
2020-001, which provides for the reiteration of protocols on reaching out to children
in street situations, in need of special protection, at risk, and in conflict
with the law during the Enhanced Community Quarantine.
One of the recommendations of the said study is to
also assist families in ensuring children are “in school”, which, for World
Vision Technical Program Manager of Education Geomel Jetonzo, is crucial to all
Filipino learners’ safe, impactful and sustained education. As most school-aged
children and students are now adapting to distance learning mode, it remains
imperative that parents and children are made aware of the risks and measures
to protect themselves from Covid-19 even while studying at home.
To know more about World Vision and its other initiatives, you
may visit www.worldvision.org.ph or follow World Vision’s official social media pages
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About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief, development, and advocacy
organization dedicated to working with children, their families, and
communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by its Christian faith
and values, it is dedicated to working with the world’s most vulnerable people.
It serves and collaborates with all people regardless of religion, race,
ethnicity, or gender.