INTERNATIONAL organization United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) recently named Quezon City as the model for a highly urbanized city to implement the organization’s integrated First 1,000 days program.
The First 1,000 days is a program launched by UNICEF in year 2010, with a goal to put into place measures to take good care of infants from conception up to the child’s second birthday.
The Quezon City Health Department accompanied UNICEF officials to inform Mayor Herbert Bautista about the locality’s latest achievement.
However, UNICEF also called on Bautista to expand the city’s health programs and support the three other components of a child’s life including health, nutrition, and water sanitation and hygiene.
Child protection and early education for children were the additional two components proposed by UNICEF.
Georgina Belardo, UNICEF-Philippines child right and business specialist, believes that if the two additional components will also be integrated, the infant, even if it is still inside the mother’s womb, will be protected from deadly diseases from childhood to adulthood.
She also disclosed that the city chief executive is “very positive” for the program initiated by UNICEF.
The 1,000 days program is backed by the United States and Irish governments, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and several non-profit organizations.
UNICEF has introduced the program in the provinces of Zamboanga del Norte, Mapanas in Northern Samar and Monreal in Masbate.