Around 6,750 children and parents in three underserved communities in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are now able to begin living healthier lives through the holistic interventions of the Batang Matatag Campaign spearheaded by Erceflora Kiddie, in partnership with Save the Children Philippines.
The Batang Matatag Campaign, aims to improve and maintain proper health and nutrition among children by addressing the lack of clean water sources that lead to diarrhea outbreaks, other gastro-related illnesses, poor health practices, and malnutrition; raising awareness on proper hygiene, and providing opportunities to access health and nutrition programs.
12,500 Filipino children under five years old die every year from severe dehydration caused by diarrhea. As a highly impactful disease, diarrhea has been recorded as the leading cause of illness and the fourth leading cause of infant death in the Philippines.
Diarrhea is highly preventable. However, many Filipinos lack awareness on proper hygiene education, and do not have access to essential facilities such as water sanitation, and other basic needs.
In 2023, the Batang Matatag Campaign invested PhP 12 Million to build Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) facilities, and community kitchens which will be received by the Toril, Sama Bajau, and Hiagonon communities in BARMM.
Batang Matatag is committed to provide select communities with mobile washing stations, WASH caravans and water filtering systems. It is also set to work with schools in building gender-sensitive toilets, managing budgets for maintenance and operations of WASH and toilet facilities, as well as training programs on life and leadership skills for over 1,000 adolescents in the beneficiary communities.
The Batang Matatag Campaign also cuts through education where all community partners received programs on Improving Health and Nutrition Programs, and Hygiene Sanitation which benefitted mothers and other members of the community. To date, 562 participants learned about critical techniques and methods to improve and maintain proper health and nutrition among children, while 2,500 received Batang Matatag hygiene kits.
At the start of the Improving Health and Nutrition Programs, and Hygiene Sanitation programs, 58% of the communities were recorded to show signs of moderate to severe acute malnutrition. At the end of five months, the same communities reflected 100% normal health levels.
With promising results and marked improvement in the pilot communities, the Batang Matatag Campaign aims to sustain its engagement in BARMM and other regions in the next five years, with plans of supporting communities in Luzon and Visayas as well.
In line with this, Erceflora Kiddie ran the Tatag Bus Tour, an interactive playground to drive education on gut health and engage families to support the cause of Batang Matatag. In continuing partnership with Save the Children, the Tatag Bus will make its rounds in Metro Manila to support more communities, and drive health education programs for children.
Everyone can be part of enabling children and families to live a healthier life. The purchase of Erceflora Kiddie supports the Batang Matatag Campaign that will help build more facilities and create more education programs for vulnerable communities in the country.