NAGA CITY, Aug. 11 (PNA)—-Some 141 mothers have died for every 1,000 live births in the Bicol region in 2015.
Dr. Rita Mae Ang told participants to the “modern natural family planning summit” held here Thursday that the figure cited represented the maternal mortality ratio in the region last year as reviewed by the Department of Health (DOH) in Bicol.
Dr. Ang told delegates to the summit organized by DOH-Bicol that maternal deaths can be reduced or prevented if a “family program is properly introduced or implemented.”
The summit participants, who included mayors, local legislators and other stakeholders in the region, were asked by Ang to support the health agency in its information and education services as well as in the “provision of services” for DOH-Bicol’s family planning program.
She said the summit is “our (DOH-Bicol) venue to call upon local officials in the Bicol region to achieve our goal to fully implement the Reproductive Health Law.”
New President Rodrigo Duterte, who was inaugurated in office on June 30, had on various occasions during the past months prior to and after his assumption to office emphasized his concerns on the need to realize the goals of the law.
Dr. Ang stressed the local government officials’ help are needed “in order to increase the popularity of modern natural family planning methods ‘in the context of informed choice and volunteerism.’”
She urged all local elected officials, health professionals, service delivery providers, media and non government organizations in the Bicol region to “fulfill the goal of reducing the unmet needs of women of reproductive age and increasing the contraceptive prevalence rate of the region.”
Dr. Ang said “family planning” has the potential to reduce by 32 percent the number of maternal deaths worldwide.
She said the practice of family planning can also reduce by 10 percent the number of deaths among the newborn, infants and children worldwide.
“Family planning can also avert 80 percent of cases of human immune virus (HIV) infections while family planning has the potential to decrease by 71 percent (the number) of unwanted pregnancies worldwide,” Dr. Ang said.
She added that family planning practices can eliminate “53 million fewer unintended pregnancies, 23 million fewer unplanned births, 25 million fewer induced abortion and 7 million fewer miscarriages worldwide.”
The lady doctor explained that family planning is an integral component of DOH-Bicol’s program on “maternal and neonatal child health nutrition,” referring to the services for pregnant women and their unborn children.
The whole day summit was also an initial activity for the “first national family planning conference” set on Nov. 9-11 in Manila which has been designed to help sustain public and political support for “modern natural family planning.”(PNA)