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13 Filipinas die daily from pregnacy-related causes

The country representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Julie Hall, said 13 women in the Philippines die everyday due to pregnancy-related causes such as bleeding, high blood pressure and infection.

Speaking to journalists at the WHO Western Pacific Office in Manila, Hall said the Philippines may not be able to meet the Millennium Development Goal on decreasing pregnancy-related deaths in 2015. She’s hopeful, however, that the country will see significant progress in programs targeted to pregnant women in the next two years.

“In terms of the Philippines achieving the MDG 5 on maternal health, we haven’t seen significant progress. It seems unlikely, unfortunately, that the Philippines will meet the target soon on pregnancy,” Dr. Hall said.

The United Nations have eight MDG targets by 2015. MDG 5 pertains to reducing the pregnancy and childbirth-related deaths or maternal mortality rate.  Another important target for member countries is MDG 4 which pertains to reducing child mortality.

She said pregnant women’s conditions are very easy to detect and manage especially if the government will invest in improved access to maternal health and maternity services.  On this note, she praised the Philhealth Maternity Care Package (MCP) of P8,000 in non-hospital facilities such as health centers, lying-in clinics, birthing homes or midwife-managed clinics in Level 1 hospitals.

Hall also lauded the Philippines for being on-track on MDG 4 saying that significant progress has been made in caring for newborns such as delaying the cutting of the umbilical cord to prevent the baby from becoming anemic, putting the baby on the mother’s chest for warmth and making sure the baby is breastfed even up to six months to deliver essential nutrients to the newborn.