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Maternal and child deaths, preventable through effective family planning services – DOH

“Maternal deaths and complications are readily preventable today if we can provide every future mothers with access to modern family planning services to prevent unwanted pregnancies, prenatal care to improve maternal nutrition, facilities capable of safe delivery and handling of maternal emergencies and postpartum care to prevent and address complications after delivery,” explained Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique T. Ona during his message at the launching of the 2011 Family Health Survey last June 19, 2012.

The DOH recently reported that they already provided 868 million pesos for the deployment of community health teams (CHTs) which will provide basic health services such as immunization, vitamin supplementation and family planning supplies to underserved communities. To support the operations of the CHTs, DOH will distribute around 500 million pesos worth of family planning commodities and supplies in community health centers this year.

Sec. Ona also revealed the results of the 2011 Family Health Survey which showed that child mortality has declined from 32 to 30 per 1,000 live births. “This can be attributed to the sustained efforts at child mortality reduction such as the national implementation of programs of vaccinations and control of some infectious diseases,” said Sec. Ona.

Despite these present improvements, Sec. Ona raised the challenges of the country’s health system. According to the Secretary, the test is on whether the country can do what needs to be done in terms of the ability to: deliver and raise program effectiveness of priority public health programs; upgrade facilities in time to serve the poor when they fall ill and; apply effective national government subsidies so that the poor are effectively enrolled in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and are able to access health care.

“It is clear that the health outcomes for our women, our mothers especially, be given our utmost attention. I therefore ask you to support us in our reforms we have initiated, imbedded in our program of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan. Help us lead the way for better health for our mothers and our children,” concluded Sec. Ona.