By Ana Theresa Williams,BSN,RN
Children are exposed to diseases which are actually preventable and treatable. But the lack of awareness of the parents is a concern that needs to be addressed immediately.
During the Dr. Pelagio Iriarte Memorial Lecture, Grace Ann Quitain Pecson,MD discussed on the “Approach to Anemia in Children,” which was followed by a lecture on “Micronutrient Malnutrition: Its Impact in Infants and Children” by Ameleen Bangayan,MD.
Dr. Bangayan said infants who are anemic like hemoglobin of less than 10 grams per deciliter will have lower motor and mental scores while their language capabilities will become lower compared to non anemic infants.
Actually, iron is essential for maternal and fetal health, learning and productivity, the pediatric gastroenterologist said.
World Health Organization said iron deficiency is the most common and widespread nutritional disorder in the world. As well as affecting a large number of children and women in developing countries, it is the only nutrient deficiency which is also significantly prevalent in industrialized countries, it said.
Dr. Bangayan mentioned in her lecture about the dilemma on using Sangkap Pinoy Seal or the Diamond Seal logos approved by Department of Health. Most of the approved foods were high in salt, fats and sugar. For instance, the instant noodles or potato chips with that approved seal. “We (including the government and the Philippine Pediatric Society) should do something about this issue since the amount of salt that is consumed in those foods is too much for a child.”
Take note that the maximum recommended amount of salt for babies and children is: up to 12 months – less than 1g of salt a day or less than 0.4g sodium; 1 to 3 years – 2g of salt a day (0.8g sodium); 4 to 6 years – 3g of salt a day (1.2g sodium).
Too much salt in the diet will eventually destroy the kidneys and will also lead to high blood pressure, other than obesity.
Other speakers discussed similar issues like Dr. Perlina Quitain who talked about “Junk Food and Fast Food: A Lifestyle Trend or a Health Threat?” We obviously know what the answer is: it can be a health threat if this is done everyday.
Several interesting topics were also discussed focusing on the neonate while human protective barriers were tackled referring to the immune system of the child. Never to forget was the oral health of the child that is considered as a neglected priority by Christina Domingo,DMD.
The two-day “8th Scientific Forum in Focus: Common Pediatric Concerns” of Davao Doctors Hospital (DDH) Department of Pediatrics was certainly a big success that was held last August 4 and 5 at the Pinnacle Hotel, Sta. Ana Avenue, Davao City.
More than 300 participants attended the two-day event organized by the working committee led by Department Chair Dr. Jo-Anne Lobo and Overall Chair Dr. Rizalina Maria Karis Mata. Dr. Sheldon Paragas was the co-chair and vice chair of the Department of Pediatrics at DDH. Dr. Rosa Cabrera, Dr. Maria Luisa Dazon and Dr. Cecilia Go were the advisers of the working committee.