Angara seeks help for women of Marawi
Sen. Jose Edgardo “Sonny” Angara said the plight of thousands of women and children from Marawi City, who are currently staying in temporary shelters, should be a vital consideration in a proposed measure seeking to provide proper healthcare for mothers and babies in their first 1,000 days.
Angara said disaster aid must be customized and should adopt a “women and children first policy,” noting that infants being born in evacuation centers suffer a setback in their development during the first 1,000 days.
‘Best of care’
“Even during normal times, nursing mothers, babies, pregnant women must have the best of care,” Angara said in a statement yesterday.
“In wartime, their plight is exacerbated when they’re uprooted from their homes. The worse the situation is, the more responsive the government’s help must become.”
The senator said the experience of mothers and children who fled Marawi City to escape the fighting between government forces and the Islamic State-inspired Maute group and in other areas hit by disasters “should be an input” in the First 1,000 Days Program Bill.
The bill, which he filed in the Senate in May, aims to mandate programs for pregnant mothers, improved breast-feeding practices, complementary feeding practices as well as protection against undernutrition and disease for children.
Angara also yesterday called for the implementation of a government order requiring the mandatory distribution of “dignity kits” to women in evacuation centers.
Prolonged armed conflict
These kits each contain 22 items of personal care for women, such as bath soap, laundry soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, underwear, sanitary pads, shampoo, face and bath towels, slippers, tissue roll and cotton balls.
The senator issued the call after the United Nations Population Fund reported that 18,000 women were gravely affected by the prolonged armed conflict in the capital of Lanao del Sur. Of this number 11,500 were pregnant women and over 7,000 have given birth in the last six months.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.