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PIA Press Release

Leyte gov bats for more birthing centers to ensure safe motherhood

Tacloban City (May 19) -- Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla is set to intensify his birthing centers program to promote safe motherhood, maternal health and nutrition in order to reduce maternal and infant mortality.

This was learned from Mayor Roque Tiu when asked by the media in an interview, on what he believe are the programs of Governor Petilla in his third and last term as governor.

During the inauguration and blessing of the Tanauan Birthing Center, he intimated that the provision of more birthing centers in the municipalities of the province of Leyte is one of his priority projects which he hopes to intensify, Mayor Tiu said.

The birthing centers project of Governor Petilla was a very relevant topic as the interview was conducted during the celebration of Safe Motherhood Week.

The second week of May has been designated Safe Motherhood Week by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 200 signed in 2002 by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The proclamation seeks to draw public attention to the need to promote maternal health and nutrition, giving particular attention to illiterate and disadvantaged women in depressed and hinterland communities, in order to reduce maternal mortality.

In the Philippines, the maternal mortality ratio is 162 for every 100,000 live births. About seven mothers die every day due to pregnancy related problems such as hemorrhage, infection, hypertension, and obstructed labor.

Home births are discouraged by the World Health Organization as this does not guarantee asepsis (sterility), and the birth attendant is not equipped with emergency care logistics like equipment and drugs to save the mother and the newborn.

It is heart-warming to know during this year's Safe Motherhood Week, that Leyte has local government executives like Governor Petilla and Mayor Tiu who are avid advocates in the campaign for standards of care to be delivered in all facilities that provide obstetrics and newborn care.

Birthing facilities with pre-pregnancy package of services, a complete pre-natal package, complete care during delivery, as well as complete post-partum and post-natal packages, should be made available especially to women in the hinterlands in order to ensure safe motherhood and in order to help meet the country's Millennium Development Goal of reducing maternal and infant mortality.

Moreover, it is good to note that there are local chief executives who are partners of the Department of Health in the campaign to inform women of the importance of giving birth in a hospital, birthing center or health center, where all the necessary care services and facilities are available to ensure a safe delivery and thereby prevent maternal mortality. (PIA 8) [top]

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