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Allow donations of milk products during disasters

/ 10:13 PM February 23, 2012

I am writing to you in behalf of our organization, Women Involved in Nation-Building (WIN), to express our sentiments in connection with the recent report of Unicef concerning malnutrition in areas hit by Tropical Storm “Sendong.” The report was mentioned in the column “Malnutrition and milk after ‘Sendong”’ written by Rina Jimenez-David. (Inquirer, 2/3/12)

WIN is a nongovernment organization dedicated to encouraging and supporting the participation of women in national development. In its 24 years of existence, WIN has undertaken numerous projects and programs for the empowerment of women and for the effective participation of women in decision-making.

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The organization is a staunch advocate of breastfeeding, and WIN strongly believes that breast milk is the gold standard for infant nutrition. WIN likewise believes that the promotion of breastfeeding will ensure that Filipino children will grow up physically, emotionally and mentally healthy.

However, in the light of recent and frequent disasters inundating the country, there should be flexibility on the ban on donations of milk products. We should consider a balance between ensuring adequate nutrition in times of disasters and safeguarding against risks of infection from water-borne diseases associated with bottle feeding.

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Hence, in times of disasters and emergencies, WIN believes that donations of milk products must be allowed as long as such donations are coursed through the government authorities concerned. The onus of responsibility should then lie on the government authorities.  We can propose additional provisions (including articulation of safety nets and sanctions for non-action on the part of government) in the distribution of milk products in times of emergency.

—CORAZON DEL MUNDO,

chair, Women Involved in

Nation-Building (WIN),

Unit 1910 Medical Plaza Ortigas Bldg.,

San Miguel Avenue, Pasig City 1600

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TAGS: Disaster, Donation, letters, Milk, nutrition
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