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PIA Press Release

DOH targets infant mortality rate reduction to 19%

By Rose B. Palacio

Davao City (6 October) -- "Countries in the world who signed the Millennium Development Goal is committed to accomplish certain targets by 2015, which means that each country should improve the health and welfare of the people in the world", this was bared now by the Department of Health Center for Health Development XI Director Dr. Paulyn Jean Rosell-Ubial.

Director Rosell-Ubial was joined by Popcom Executive Director Tom M. Osias, Popcom XI Director Maduh Damsani, Ma. Leah Magracia of NSO XI, Assistant city health officer Dr. Sam Cruz, and other ranking officials of various agencies and non-government organizations during the 3-day (October 4-6, 2006) Regional Forum on Local Government Population Program sponsored by Popcom XI being held at Ponce Suites, Bajada, Davao City.

In her presentation on Health Secretary Francisco Duque's FOURmula for Health, Director Ubial said in the Philippines, government has targeted infant mortality rate reduction from 27% (2006) to 19% by 2015.

MDG aims for the national and global development which includes: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; achieve universal primary education; promote gender and equality and empower women; reduce child mortality; improve maternal health; combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases; ensure environmental sustainability; and develop a global partnership for development.

Its Medium Term Philippine Development Plan up to 2010 are: to reduce price of essential drugs by 50%; expand health insurance coverage and benefits especially for indigents; universal coverage=85%; strengthen national and local health systems; improve health and productivity through research and development; and establish drug treatment and rehabilitation centers.

In as far as health financing is concerned, there are about 1,595 Philhealth accredited facilities established nationwide; 23 ambulatory surgical clinics; 801 accredited rural health units; 176 accredited outpatient facilities nationwide; 19 free standing clinics; 86 maternity care clinics; and 71 anti-TB/DOTs treatment centers.

On health service delivery, the government has coverage of 84% immunized children on the 2-rounds of Patak Kontra Polio and has achieved 93% coverage of target population specifically in ARMM and Zamboanga.

A sustained program on the promotion of mother-baby friendly clinics for breastfeeding and the pushing for Better Milk Code (EO 51) are now being undertaken and a nationwide action plan for Avian influenza is also included, Director Ubial said. (PIA-XI) [top]

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