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PIA Press Release

Ifugao shares best practices on Mother and Child Health

by Vency D. Bulayungan

Lagawe, Ifugao (15 November) -- Sharing best practices of the Biliran and Ifugao experience on Mother and Child Health (MCH), stakeholders in coordination with the provincial government here conducted recently a forum at the Don Bosco Auditorium here.

Participated by the different provinces in the Cordilleras, the project which seeks to lower maternal and neonatal deaths by involving communities from the provincial down to the barangay level was well supported by officials and health implementers from the provinces of Benguet, Abra, Mt. Provinces and Kalinga.

Department of Health Regional Director Dr. Myrna Cabotaje said that the best practices of the provinces of Biliran and Ifugao on MCH are something worth replicating in the other provinces of the region. The two provinces are among the beneficiaries of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)-MCH program.

A partnership among the DOH, the provincial and municipal governments of Biliran and Ifugao, the beneficiaries to the said program and the JICA-MCH, the project works on the premise that maternal and neonatal deaths occur due to the three delays - delay in deciding to seek medical care; delay in reaching appropriate care and delay in receiving care at health facilities.

Ms. Izumi Murakami of JICA-MCH said that the project attacks the issue of maternal and newborn deaths in a holistic fashion by educating mothers and community health workers on the risks involved during pregnancy, providing appropriate referral mechanisms to ensure that trained health workers perform deliveries, and improving capability of health facilities to enable them to strengthen emergency obstetric and newborn care.

With the organization of the Ifugao Ayod Community Health Team which is considered as a milestone in the history of the province, the health implementers aim to strengthen the community base strategies to be expanded in other municipalities aside from the three pilot areas here namely the municipalities of Mayoyao, Alfonso Lista and Aguinaldo.

Governor Teddy Baguilat said that with the implementation of the said program, maternal and child deaths were reduced and even eradicated. Mothers now see the benefits of giving birth in health facilities to ensure the safety of both mother and child.

Ayod is an Ifugao term which refers to the hammock which is used as a transport facility. It could be made of rattan or blanket/cloth tied in both ends. It represents the spirit of teamwork, unity, coordination and goodwill since it involves the participation of men, women and children.

Governor Dalog of Mt. Province said that the Ifugao and Biliran experience is a model to emulate since it is a product of a project which was implemented on the ground. "It is very practical and doable project which should be expanded to the other parts of the Cordilleras," he said.

On the other hand, Vice Governor Cresencio Pacalso of Benguet said that there is no problem in the Cordilleras because there is strong community involvement among the people. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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