THAT there are seven more maternal deaths in 2014 than in 2013 is indeed worrying. We may say, but they are only a total of 126 who died while giving birth all over Davao Region where there are 1.5-million females above 15 years old.
But of that population, as based on the 2011 Family Health Survey placed the fertility rate in Davao Region at 3.4 percent; much higher than the national fertility rate of 3.1%.
Maternal health is among the eight Millennium Development Goals set in 2000 for 2015, this year.
The 8 MDGs are, 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; 2. Achieve universal primary education; 3. Promote gender equality and empower women; 4. Reduce child mortality; 5. Improve maternal health; 6. Combat HIV/Aids, malaria, and other diseases; 7. Ensure environmental sustainability, and; 8. Global partnership for development.
Specifically, Target 5.A reads: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.
The country’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) in 1990 was 209 per 100,000 live births. Given the target 5.A, MMR by this year, the national MMR should be down to 52.25 per 100,000 live births.
There are still no figures coming in, but as of 2011, MMR in Davao Region was still at 108/100,000.
Now, Dr. Abdullah Dumama, chief of the Department of Health in Davao Region, is ringing the bell because as of 2014, the figure is up at 126 from 119. In short, Target 5A alone is no longer attainable.
That is just Target 5A. We haven’t even started taking about Target 6, which seeks to combat HIV/Aids, malaria, and other diseases. By now, we have a pretty good idea on how HIV/Aids is growing by leaps and bounds in our region.
Indeed, there is reason to be alarmed because even as the problems have identified and targets set out, we are not making much headway. In solving concerns that beset a community, the first step is always to identify the problem, the people affected, and set the targets for its solution. The problems have been identified 15 years ago and the target set for a 15-year period. We are now at the end.