Wednesday, August 21, 2013

No to Formula Donations Post Maring

This post might offend others even if my intention is for the greater good and there is no malice nor judgment involved in the writing of this quick blog post.

Hundreds of families will be finding themselves in temporary shelters and evacuation centers. Donations will be pouring in. One industry that is very quick to respond to this 'need' (or say, opportunity) is the milk company industry.

But please say it with me.... FOUL!

For one thing, breastfeeding missions we have conducted post-Ondoy showed us that many of the marginalized actually breastfeed to some extent (and let's face it, those from the middle class or upper class will have relatives to go to after losing their homes to flood). It is just a matter of empowering them to do it exclusively.

Breastfeeding is imperative during disasters and emergency situations, while donations of formula will undermine a mother's capability to provide a safe food for their infant (one that is sure to protect him from common illnesses they will inevitably pick up from those evac centers) and toddler/s. Plus, formula donations can pose real health risks in such situations wherein sterile water, equipment and enough formula will not be guaranteed. It is not a joke, evacuees have used portalet water, or gathered rain just to prepare formula. This is why an epidemic of diarrhea often follows such displacement.

If you really care about those people, do read this and be enlightened how to better help: Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies

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