DOH launches Weekly Iron Folic Acid Program in Central Luzon

  • July 11, 2017
  • Jean Ricelle A. Aquino

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 11 (PIA) -- Department of Health (DOH) recently launched its Weekly Iron Folic Acid (WIFA) supplementation program in Central Luzon.

 

DOH Regional Nutrition Dietitian Margarita Natividad said female adolescents are the priority group in micronutrient supplementation, and iron is vital in the cognitive development of a child.

 

“We are targeting adolescents, particularly those in Grades 7-10, including those enrolled in the Alternative Learning System. Although WIFA will be held in public schools, those enrolled in private schools, as well as those who are not enrolled, are encouraged to access the WIFA through the nearest health centers in their community,” she shared.

 

“For females, it has been known that folic acid deficiency is prevalent during pregnancy. It is through this program that we are responding to the said concerns, and we are preparing them for the stage of pregnancy,” she added.

 

Additionally, she clarified that females ranging from 10-49 years old are encouraged to go through it.

 

“WIFA will be administered for 12 weeks, starting July up to September. It will be held once a week, every Monday in various schools and health centers in the region,” Natividad explained.

 

“Each beneficiary shall be provided by the school nurse or the school teacher of one tablet with 16 milligrams of iron and 400 micrograms of folic acid. In case the child is absent, the supplement will be given as soon as the student returns to school,” she furthered.

 

Intermittent WIFA supplementation, which is given in two rounds, is based on the recommendation of the World Health Organization.

 

The next round will be from January to March 2018.

 

This program is a partnership between DOH and Department of Education and is a component of Menstrual Health Management in schools, along with feminine hygiene and menstrual health education.

 

It is also included in the DOH Nutrition Program known as Micronutrient Support Program, as well as the Adolescent Health Development Program.

 

“We all have the responsibility to join and save the students, especially the females, from folic acid deficiency. We are encouraging everyone to promote, advocate and participate in this initiative,” she noted. (CLJD/JRAA-PIA 3)

 


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