Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Thursday, March 04, 2010


According to the Department of Health (DOH), almost four thousand six hundred (4,600) women die giving birth each year translating into ten (10) mothers dying and leaving more than thirty children motherless every day.

In the Philippines today, 6 out of 10 births take place at home making it difficult to follow a woman from prenatal to postnatal stage thus contributing to a high maternal fatality rate. Hemorrhage, hypertensive disorders during pregnancy and obstructed labor constitute the majority of complications relating to maternal fatalities. All of these problems can be prevented through proper medical care.

The DOH also mentioned three (3) factors that contribute to the growing maternal fatality rate: (1) the decision when to seek care, (2) reaching the health facility and, (3) receiving appropriate care in the facility.

According to City Health Officer Dr. Arnildo Tamayo, in Olongapo City, maternal deaths also occur. “The city has an annual population growth of more than five thousand births yearly,” he said, “the population is growing steadily and every pregnant mother is at risk.”

To address the root cause of this problem, Mayor James “Bong” Gordon, Jr. has approved Ordinance No. 59 or the Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEONC) Ordinance of Olongapo City passed by the city council recently.

The objective of this ordinance is to provide pregnant mothers with adequate and affordable basic emergency obstetric and newborn care, and encourage pregnant women deliver their babies in health centers and hospitals as birth delivery outside a health facility is commonly practiced especially in far-flung areas.

The ordinance also aims to establish Women's Health Teams in communities composed doctors, midwives, nurses and Barangay Health Workers to ensure that all pregnant women in the community, especially the poor, are adequately served and lead the effort in convincing mothers to shift from home birth to facility or hospital birth.

Mayor Gordon has directed the City Health Office (CHO) as the lead agency in the implementation of this ordinance to ensure that systems, programs and services are available pregnant women at all times. The CHO will also adopt the aforementioned measures to reduce maternal deaths in the city.

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