Albay sets up centers to boost MDG campaign

Published by rudy Date posted on September 12, 2011

Albay aims to sustain and further improve its maternal and infant mortality reduction performance under the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) with the completion of nine Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (BEmONC), centers, which are also designed as family hospitals.

Worth P24.2 million and funded by the Agencia Española de Cooperacion Internacional para Desarollo (AECID), BEmONC is implemented by the Albay provincial government and the Department of Health (DoH) as a support program to the MDG, particularly in child and maternal health care.

Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said AECID had also consistently extended assistance to his province in its Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction Programs, including the construction of disaster evacuation centers and school buildings.

BEmONC units are upgraded rural health facilities equipped with basic new medical tools primarily intended to provide services to pregnant and lactating mothers and children. The Albay provincial government has upgraded them to serve as family hospitals duly accredited with the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.

Aside from maternal delivery, these health facilities have basic diagnostic capacity since will have X-ray and related equipments. They also have service contracts with the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital on laboratory tests. Their bed capacity are now being expanded to accommodate about 10 patients at any time.

Salceda said their BEmONC facilities initially cover the towns of Tiwi, Jovellar, Bacacay, Oas, Libon, Manito, Sto. Domingo, Polangui and Ligao City. Another P17 million has been approved by the AECID for a second batch in five more towns.

BEmONC units are not just birthing facilities. They also provide pregnant mothers with adequate and affordable basic emergency obstetric and newborn care services to encourage pregnant women to deliver their babies in the safety of health centers and hospitals.

Birth delivery at home is a common practice in rural areas which the government has long aimed to discourage. All five of the major causes of maternal mortality — sepsis, hemorrhage, unsafe abortion, hypertensive disorders and obstructed labor — are better treated and handled in well-staffed and well-equipped health facilities.

“In such desired settings, many critical newborn babies who might otherwise die can be saved,” Salceda stressed. Albay has been a recipient of equipment and ambulances that are deployed in its various BEmONC centers.

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