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Child Advocacy & Community

September 22, 2015 was commemorated as CHILD ADVOCACY DAY in celebration of the 58th PMA Medicine Week (Theme: “One PMA, One Health, One Nation” Empowering the Filipino Physician for Nation Building) with the Davao Medical Society (DMS) and the Philippine Pediatric Society-Davao Southern Mindanao Chapter conducting activities at the Archdiocesan Nourishment Center (ANC) of the Fatima Parish, Fatima Davao City. One of the activities was hosting a massage/touch therapy lecture with demonstration by Ms. MelviaMalubay to pregnant moms, other mothers with their toddlers. This promoted development of physical and emotional bond between mothers and their children. The other activity involved providing free medical consultations to children and some mothers. Dr. Jill Itable represented the DMS. She is an internist and specialist in infectious diseases. She mentioned that another medical free clinic was planned for the following day for adult patients and it was going to be at the People’s Park Complex. On the other hand, Dr. Gemma Tiu, Dr. Luz Magno, Dr. AlynneAguello and Dr. Mervin Flavier represented the PPS-DSMC. They were able to witness the nourishment-feeding program of the ANC by providing nutritious meals once daily to some fifty Badyaw children.

By Mervin Flavier, MD


The committee on child advocacy resumed one of the previously done activities to promote childhood interest on reading and hopefully elevating literacy. Last October 24, 2014, children from our adopted community at MatinaPangi read aloud as the storybookswere scanned and flashed through an LCD projector on a screen.

The children storybooks consisted of the classic Filipino tales as well as some English stories both of which were zestfully read aloud and almost in unison by the children. The children were asked about each story to see if they understood and were given simple tokens for their answers. Then the children were given some refreshments while watching short clips on “MgaAwitingPambata” a compilation of the all time favorite Filipino songs for children like “Bahay, Kubo”, “Ako ay may lobo”, “SampungMgaDaliri” to name a few.

They were also shown “MgaKwentongPambata” that consisted of Filipino folklore like “Ang Leon at angDaga” and “AngAlamatngPinya” also to name a few. Lastly, the kids were also able to watch a short cartoon video about children who still play traditional Filipino games like patintero, taguan, sipa, tumbangpreso and siato that was a favorite of mine. These games are seldom seen nowadays as they have been replaced by technological advancement and therefore exert a toll on enjoying the experience of a shared game such as those mentioned above. Fortunately for the children who watched this video, these Filipino children gamesare still familiar with them. This activity will be repeated at the Fatima parish where the society holds monthly free clinics every second Saturday of the month. All members are encouraged to participate in this worthwhile community-child advocacy service activity.


November 2014 was celebrated as CHILD ADVOCACY MONTH with the theme “Supporting children and their families during disasters and its aftermath”.

The Child Advocacy Month was commemorated with a series of lectures in coordination with the Committee on National Disaster Preparedness of the PPS-DSMC. The first lecture was about “Disaster Risk Reduction and Management”that happened on November 5 at the 6th floor Gantoqui Building in Davao Doctors Hospital during the PPS Wednesday conference. Mr. Pepito S. Capili, Administrative Officer of the Davao City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (DCDRRMO) that is connected with our local government Central 911 agency was our first guest speaker. The lecture tackled on the types of disasters both man-made and by natural calamities and highlighted lessons learned from storm surges causing floods in some areas in Davao City and also the more disastrous typhoon Pablo that hit neighboring Davao del Norte and Oriental.The experiencesof our neighbors in the Visayas like the devastating earthquake of Bohol and typhoon Yolanda,one of the strongest typhoonsto hit our country particularly Samar and Leyte were also discussed. The speaker also explained what the DCDRRMO doesin terms of assessing areas prone to disasters, approximating the extent of possible damages that may happen should a disaster strike a particular region and alsothe management procedures during actual times of disasters.Mr. Capili emphasized that in the event of a storm or typhoon, people could still be warned on the necessary steps to avoid or lessen as much damage to property and most importantly avoid the loss of lives. What is more worrisome is the occurrence of earthquakes that so far has no means of being detected early in order to forewarn everyone how to be prepared.

Mr. Pepito Capili graciously gave his time again on December 5 to give a second talk that was on being prepared for what he considered as the worst kind of disaster that is an earthquake. He discussed the types of earthquakes, what causes it to happen and the key elements in bracing for such an event. He mentioned that during times of disaster, children bear the grunt and experience long-term effects and therefore should be given utmost support and care.

The second speaker was invited to discuss about meeting the nutritional needs of children during times of disasters and its rehabilitation during the aftermath. Dr. Teresa L. Ungson (PhD), Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator of the National Nutrition Council (NNC) of Region 11 delivered her lecture on November 26 at the same venue. She discussed how the inhabitants particularly the children of disaster-inflicted areas are assessed and given a rehabilitative nutrition program. She also tackled what appropriate sources of nutrition could be used during these situations. She also mentioned the different members of the NNC-XI both coming from government and non-government organizations to which the PPS-DSMC has been formally invited to become a regular member to contribute in making policies for proper implementation.

The invitation came after the Chair of the Child Advocacy Committee attended the Program Implementation Review of the NNC that was held at the Grand Men Seng Hotel last November 19, 2014.



By: Mervin E. Flavier, MD

  1. Detection of proteinuria among grade 4 students in a public elementary school – urine dipstick screening was conducted in Davao City in the morning and in Tagum City in the afternoon on June 26, 2014. A total of 93 children were screened at the San Roque Elementary School and was headed by our PPS President Dr. Gemma Tiu together with doctors Tess Bañes, Allyne Aguelo, Delta Aguilar and Julie Arrosas. Of those children screened, 2 were (+) for proteinuria and none in Tagum City. Those tested positive were referred to the Southern Philippines Medical Center for further work up. Members from General Santos City tested 187 children, 4 had proteinuria, 2 had +1 and 1 had +2 results. Cotabato, Digos and Tagum City likewise conducted their own screening with negative findings among tested children.

  2. The second run of the urine screening was held at the same venue in Davao City last September 4, 2014 and in Tagum City the week before. In attendance were doctors Gemma Tiu, Geraldine Ugdoracion and Mervin Flavier. Eighty-seven grade four pupils were screened and 1 was found to have +1. The school principal was kindly requested to inform the parents of the child who had +1 and followed up also on the 2 children previously found to have proteinuria if their parents were already able to have their children further evaluated at SPMC. This activity is scheduled every other month the next run is scheduled in October. Cotabato City had to postpone due to inclement weather.

  3. A feeding program for malnourished children was conducted at the St. Charles Borromeo Monastery in Matina Aplaya last August 16, 2014. This activity was spear headed by the Davao Medical Society and our participation was for the month of August. This activity of the DMS seeks the joint cooperation of the different subspecialty societies and PPS was assigned the months August and December. In attendance were doctors Joanne Lobo and Mervin Flavier. We encourage more participation from our members in December and the planned feeding program with our community in Matina Pangi in coordination with Community Program Chair Dr. Allyne Aguelo.

  4. Free consultation clinic was established in association with the Archdiocesan Nourishment Center (ANC) at Pagasa St., Fatima in Davao City. This was made possible through coordination with Dr. Michael Manalaysay who is active in the parish and also Dr. Jetty Jet Lu who volunteers his time every Thursday morning. The Archdiocese of Davao launched the ANC last May 19, 2014 and it provides vital nourishment programs and services like medical assistance to less fortunate families and feeding of malnourished children in the city aside from spiritual direction. Members of PPS-DSMC are encouraged to volunteer at least 2 hours every 2nd Saturday of the month to help manage the free clinic. The ANC has started already conducting their feeding program for 100 children and their nutritional status being monitored in the free clinic. Other lined up PPS-driven activities for the center will include reading and literacy program and lectures on maternal and child health. Volunteers may get in touch with Dr. Mervin Flavier (0908-872-8737) or with Sr. Nena Villalon (0942-274-8516) who is the center coordinator together with other nuns and staff personnel.

  5. Follow up story: September 20, 2014

    The PPS-DSMC conducted it first or trial run free clinic at the Archdiocesan Nourishment Center (ANC) at Pagasa St. in Fatima, Davao City. Around 20 Badjao children were given free medical check up and advised on health care through the assistance of volunteer staff. According to the staff running the center, more children were expected that day however many were afraid of receiving immunization shots hence only a few arrived. This was an unfortunate reaction among these children who were included in the immunization drive of the Department of Health (see full story at the home page). Majority of those examined had upper respiratory tract infections with poor hygiene and nutritional status. These children were provided with free medicines from the drug bank of the center.

    This activity was simultaneously done with the regular feeding program of the ANC. The supplies came from donations given by private individuals and institutions. The activity was headed by PPS-DSMC President Dr. Gemma Tiu, and participated by Drs. Teresa Protasio, Lourdes Anglionto,Karis Mata and Mervin Flavier. More members are welcomed to participate in the succeeding free clinic every second Saturday of the month from 2 to 4 pm unless specified at another date and time. The ANC is also requesting PPS members to donate medicine samples and other supplies such as prescription pads, pens and tongue depressors. For donations please contact any PPS-DSMC officer, board member or area representative.

  6. “The Voice - PPS-DSMC” is not a singing competition of the society rather it’s voice will be heard thru a radio talk show with the local radio station of the ABS-CBN program DXAB 1296 Radyo Patrol Davao. This was made possible thru the help of Dr. Richard Mata who has frequently guested and invited other pediatricians to talk on the radio program and now there will be a regular time slot given for our society mainly for the purpose of promoting child advocacy issues. “The Voice – PPS-DSMC” will be aired every 4th or last Sunday of the month between 2 to 4 pm. Guest speakers are primarily from the roster of officers and board members and regular members will be invited to talk as well. A module on each of the topics will be provided to guide speakers during their talk. The first airing was last August 31, 2014 with Child Advocacy Chair Dr. Mervin Flavier talking about the society and its activities and also about concerns in child development. The next speaker will be our PPS President to talk about “Preparing for the arrival of a new baby” on September 28, 2014. There will also be a guesting before this on September 14 by Dr. Delta Sunshine Aguilar to discuss the memorandum of the DOH regarding their measles immunization campaign. Other topics include early childhood issues; early education and child care; childhood behaviors; keeping your child safe; childhood emergencies; environmental health; family matters; concerns about puberty; child abuse; eye concerns; allergies; nutritional needs; safety and injury prevention; children, parents and sexuality; communicating with your child and changing your child’s behaviors; managing common behavioral problems; children issues in school; immunization; physical fitness & sports; and, sleep disturbances. Interested members may get in touch with Dr. Mervin Flavier.

  7. In line with the 57th PMA National Medicine Week from September 21-26, 2014, the Davao Medical Society has lined up activities during this weeklong celebration with the theme: “Kapit Bisig Para sa Pagbabago… sa PMA at sa Bayan. Our society has been tasked to take part by holding a Child Advocacy Day on September 23, 2014. The officers and board members has convened to conduct a drawing contest among children aged 6 to 11 years old of hospital personnel (secretaries, nurses, institutional workers) in the 5 training institutions with the theme: “Ang Batang Filipino: Mabait, Matalino at Masigla Tungo sa Pagbabago ng Pilipinas” The contest aims to hold a fun-filled and worth while activity which will also promote awareness within and outside the hospital about child advocacy. Each Pediatric Departments were provided with a letter about this together with the contest mechanics and flyers to inform hospital personnel and elicit participation. Simple major and consolation prizes will be given after simultaneous judging in each hospital on the said date while the entries are put up on display at the hospital lobby.

Follow up story: September 23, 2014

In line with the 57th PMA National Medicine Week, the Child Advocacy Day Drawing Contest came to a conclusion with the simultaneous conduct of judging the entries in each Pediatric Department of the Training Institutions in Davao City. School supplies were handed out as major and consolation prizes for the participants who consisted of children of hospital personnel and in-patients at the 5 training hospitals(BIHMI, DDH, DMSFH, SPH & SPMC) as shown below.



PPS-DSMC Feeding Program AY 2014-2016

By: Mervin Edcel E. Flavier, MD

The Philippine Pediatric Society-Davao Southern Mindanao Chapter upholds its commitment to the service of the Filipino children particularly for the less fortunate families in Davao City through continuation of its child advocacy-feeding program. This has been a long time activity from previous years and with the new leadership, this activity began last August in association with our local mother society, the Davao Medical Society (DMS). The activity was held at the St. Charles Borromeo Monastery in Matina Aplaya on August 16, 2014 from 12nn to 3 pm. The different chapter members of DMS will take turn in providing medical screening and assist in feeding more than 50 Badjao children who were screened for their nutritional status and subsequently provided with nutritious meals. These children will continuously be monitored on their nutritional status and provided with nourishment, health education and other medical evaluation and treatments including deworming and health care lectures by appointed speakers from DMS or PPS-DSMC. The next time PPS-DSMC will be assigned again to assist DMS will be in December but members are encouraged to participate anytime throughout the entire year.

On the other hand, our society has also tied up with the Archdiocesan Nourishment Center (ANC) of the Fatima Parish with its ongoing feeding program. Members are encouraged to devote at least an hour or two of their valuable time to volunteer and provide medical services through a free clinic that includes growth monitoring. The center provides nourishment to more than 50 Christian children and more than 50 Badjao children. This activity was made possible with the guidance and assistance of Dr. Jetty Jet Lu who has been a volunteer already and now with our society’s commitment to provide members to hold clinic every 2nd Saturday of the month from 2 to 4 pm. Members who are interested to volunteer may get in touch with Dr. Lu, Dr. Mervin Flavier who is the Chair of the child advocacy committee or with Sr. Nena Villalon (0942-274-8516) the center’s overall coordinator.

Another venue for the feeding program is slated to be at the adopted community in Matina Pangi in coordination with the PPS-DSMC Community Program Committee Chair Dr. Allyne Montecillo-Aguelo. Members are encouraged also to participate with the feeding program and other planned activities in this community.