The Department of Health Region in the Davao region recorded a huge reduction of maternal and infant death over the past three years.
From the baseline figure in 2014, DOH recorded 53% decrease in maternal death, while 32% for infant deaths in the whole Davao Region in 2017.
According to Dr. Anabelle P. Yumang, DOH Regional Director, the figures presented was a huge challenge in their part since it is hard to sustain reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality.
“This is already a big number for us since it is not easy to reduce it to 50%,” Yumang said in a press conference at the Marco Polo Hotel last September 6.
Meanwhile, Rolando Domingo, Health Undersecretary, said that Davao Region’s number is the highest compared to the nationwide.
“That’s our problem, our maternal and neo-natal mortality is decreasing, but in a very slow rate of 2-3% nationally,” He added, “But for the whole region to have a 50% maternal death decrease and 12% for neonatal is very impressive.”
Domingo believes that this development could be a closer step in making Philippines the “healthiest people in South East Asia”.
DOH’s achievement comes after a three-year collaborative partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the World Health Organization (WHO) that aims in improving maternal and newborn health in the Davao region.
The partnership established 10 project sites in Santa Maria, Malita and Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental; New Corella and TagumCity in Davao Del Norte; Maco, Mabini and Pantukan in Compostela Valley; and Caraga and Mannay in Davao Oriental.
Yumang said that the site selection was based on the rate of maternal deaths that were recorded on the municipality.
“As of now, we will continue to monitor 10 municipalities. And also we will expand five or more whatever we have to address this problem,” Yumang said.
Along with the different approaches made by DOH in addressing the problem of maternity death of the past years, she also attributed the participation of the local government units in improving access to maternal health services, as well as community participation.
In a World Health Organization (WHO) report, approximately 830 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every day all over the world.
WHO said 99 percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries like the Philippines.