Abra, Apayao health stations set as birthing centers by January

>> Tuesday, December 24, 2013

BAGUIO CITY—Twenty-two  barangay health stations  in  the provinces  of Apayao and Abra will be  fully equipped and functional birthing centers  by January  through a project of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

JICA, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), has a Cordillera-wide project which aims to strengthen health services in the region especially on efficient delivery of maternal and child health services  to encourage health facility birth delivery and reduce cases of mother or child death.

Dr. Makoto Tobe,  JICA project chief advisor, said last week they  recently completed delivery of P6 million worth of medical and non-medical equipment for 17 barangay health stations  in Apayao and five BHS in Abra.

JICA also provided training support to all midwives handling maternal and child health services in the said barangays  for the 22 BHS to be DOH certified BEmONC or basic emergency obstetrics and neonatal care facilities.

These BHS   are expected to be fully operational birthing service centers by January next year.

To be it is their ultimate goal to ensure that no mother would die while giving birth.

According to him,  regionwide average of facility-based delivery in the  Cordillera is almost 80 percent  mostly in  urbanized areas.

In some provinces and remote municipalities, facility-based delivery   is as low as 40 percent.
DOH assistant regional director Dr. AmelitaPangilinan, in the same forum, also disclosed maternal death  remains a concern in the region.

In 2012, there were  25  recorded cases compared  to the 22 and 21 cases in 2011 and 2010, respectively.

Pangilinan added improving maternal and child health were goals  of the Aquino health agenda of “Kalusugang Pangkalahatan.” 

Aside from its partnership  with JICA, the DOH is also investing on Health Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP) where 37 projects have been completed  while five are   on-going.

These projects include upgrading of hospitals, rural health units and BHS to be fully functional BEmONC, in terms of facility and health personnel  --Carlito C. Dar


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