By Analou De Vera
DAGUPAN CITY, Pangasinan — The Department of Health (DOH) said that providing proper nutrition to children plays an important role in their brain development.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III reminded parents that they must ensure that their children are receiving proper nutrients and vitamins, especially for mothers-to-be and their babies.
“Ang brain development nag-uumpisa habang nasa loob ng sinapupunan [The brain development starts at the mother’s womb]… Once the brain is undeveloped or poorly developed, [they may have] poor performance in reading (comprehension), math, science and all other education matrix,” said Duque.
The health chief made the statement following reports that the country ranked the lowest in reading comprehension and second lowest in science and math among 79 countries in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which was conducted by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Duque said that nutrition is one of the “drivers” of the child’s development. “Kailangan talaga sa simula’t-simula pa lang pangalagaan ang kalusugan ng inyong mga anak [Since the beginning, you should take good care of the health of your child],” he said.
Aside from nutrition and health status of children, the quality of teaching must also be assessed.
The health chief, meanwhile, said that excessive use of gadget may also contribute to the school-performance of children, saying that “anything done in excess is counterproductive.”
“[It] is not just education per se but also must encompass all other determinants of health and education,” said Duque.