A part of the Millennium Development Goal in our country is to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. No home birthing policy come into realization as part of the Governments move in coordination with the Department of Health utilizing our Rural Health Units to aid in envisioning our MDG’s. But then a non government organization stated that the no home birthing policy lead to more pregnancy- related deaths among women in rural areas without any access with birthing home facilities.
According to the Council of Health and Development, the policy imposed is not the solution to decrease the number of maternal and infant death. They are airing out that there are certain cases they have experienced that lead to maternal death just to conform to the no home birthing policy. The CHD director pointed out that public birthing home facilities are scarce and very far from rural people. They are not accessible to them. They need to walk for hours and maybe spend much for transportation and if they push it the incidence of unsafe delivery will increase.
These are the statement of Grace Cuasay, CHD director. The statements were taken from Manila Bulletin.
The policy discouraging home-births is not the solution decreasing the number of maternal and infant deaths now at 221 per 100,000 live births based on National Statistics Office 2011 data, said the Council for Health and Development (CHD).
Cuasay said the no home birthing policy is not an effective strategy in addressing maternal deaths because only 17,000 of the country’s 41,000 barangays have government health centers and many of these are ‘ill-equipped’ with inadequate medicines and staff.
She said the ratio of midwife to the population 1:6,578 or one midwife for three to five barangays.
Instead she said the government must provide more doctors, nurses and midwives in rural communities until communities have reached the World Health Organization (WHO)-prescribed ratio of one midwife per 500 population is met.
Second, she said hilots or traditional birth attendants should also be seen as a ‘complement’ to public health workers in the rural setting.
She said hilots should also be provided trainings and tools for more effective delivery of basic health service.
As a health care practitioner, how would you respond? What is your stand about it? Based on experience working for 3 years in a Rural Health Unit which is a Maternity Care Package accredited by Philhealth. It addressed a lot in terms of maternal and child issues. Through channeling midwifes in their respective barangays safe deliveries was facilitated. The monitoring in every prenatal visit was strengthened and lead to a more healthy pregnancy. The cases of sepsis were reduced by emphasizing the essential newborn care. The whole point is that in every program that the government is trying to impose there are pros and cons of it. Some can adapt to it easily and other may not for several factors. Factors in terms of the financing area, support from the LGU for strengthening health programs and many dilemmas of our country’s advocacy to health. As health care providers we must provide the maximum potential of a person and provide them with the holistic care. Proper leadership, strategizing and maximizing the resources available can alleviate and basically promote optimum quality of care for mothers and babies.
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