BEMONC facility: A reality in Tagoloan-A A +A
Friday, April 25, 2014
REPUBLIC (RA) 10354, otherwise known as “An Act Providing for a National Policy on Responsible Parenthood And Reproductive Health” or more popularly addressed as the “RH Law” defines the Basic Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (BEMONC) as the lifesaving services for emergency maternal and newborn conditions/complications being provided by a health facility or professional to include the following services:
(1) Administration of parenteral oxytocic drugs;
(2) Administration of dose of parenteral anticonvulsants;
(3) Administration of parenteral antibiotics;
(4) Administration of maternal steroids for preterm labor; [and]
(5) Performance of assisted vaginal deliveries, removal of retained placental products, and manual removal of retained placenta.
Furthermore, it includes neonatal interventions which include at the minimum: newborn resuscitation, provision of warmth, and referral, blood transfusion where possible.
Generally, this provision of the RH Law is implemented at the rural, municipal and community levels. Otherwise, at the hospital level, this is known as the Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care.
BEMONC is intended to serve the pregnancy and delivery needs of the poverty-laden women in order to address social inequality in terms of access to quality heath and maternal and child healthcare services.
This health program is also reflective of the Philippine government’s compliance and alliance to address the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 4 (reduction of child mortality by two-thirds) and 5 (improve maternal health) by 2015.
Statistics have shown that there is a steady yet slowed down reduction of childhood deaths in Philippines for the past decade.
As a matter-of-fact, the Under-five Mortality Rate (U-5MR) has a sluggish decrement for the last 10 years.
Epidemiologists define U-5MR as the number of children who die before reaching their 5th birthday. For medical sociologists and demographers, this is indicative of the extent of poverty in a particular population.
On the other hand, data from the Maternal, Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition Care Policy of the Department of Health claim that the first two days after delivery of the mother are at the highest risk of dying due to the following causes: postpartum bleeding; hypertensive disorders of pregnancy; complications arising from obstructive labor; infections; and complications of unsafe abortion.
Meanwhile, BEMONC’s benevolent promise is a reality enjoyed in Tagoloan, the first municipality to the East of Misamis Oriental through its Municipal Health Office (MHO), which established the Tagoloan BEMONC Facility in 2011: two years prior the enactment of RA 10354.
Tagoloan is a home to 70, 037 populace based on the MHO data shared.
Thus, this BEMONC facility is able to serve its 10 barangays with the estimated 12, 733 households.
Data culled from the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) reveal that six in 10 births (60 percent) are delivered in a health facility.
This finding is 20 percent higher compared to the 2008 NDHS finding (40 percent or four out of 10) in terms of utilization of health facilities for delivery purposes.
Various local studies have also found that home deliveries are among the pointed culprits for maternal deaths in the Philippines.
Therefore, the installation of health facilities, which are preferably BEMONC will aid definitely in the reduction of maternal and child deaths.
To date, the Tagoloan BEMONC facility renders the following healthcare services to the population being served: Out-patient consultation and treatment; laboratory services such as complete blood count, urinalysis, fecalysis, random blood sugar, pregnancy test, blood typing and hepatitis antibody; dental services; first aid treatment for wounds; health education and referrals.
Likewise, the facility is PhilHealth accredited for the following services: Out-Patient Benefit Package; DOTS (for tuberculosis patients); Maternal Care Package (lying-in clinic); and Newborn Screening Package.
A latest addition to its allegiance to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 is its training program for student and practicing midwives as it has become the affiliating center of the four-year ladderized Bachelor of Science (BS) in midwifery curriculum of Tagoloan Community College, a local government-run tertiary academic institution.
This BS in midwifery program is the second of its kind in Region 10 as most other midwifery schools offer only the two-year graduate diploma program.
It is committed to produce midwives who are clinically experts in caring for the mother and child.
With all these at hand, it is hoped that Tagoloan will contribute to the national achievement of MDGs 4 and 5. Let its BEMONC facility declare its support in the breakdown of social inequality for the betterment of the lives of Filipino mothers and children, in general and Tagoloanons in particular.
Heartfelt gratitude is expressed for Tagoloan’s Mayor Paulino Yap Emano and Dr. Jennifer L. Advincula, municipal health officer for their supportive efforts in the conception and materialization of Tagoloan BEMONC Facility.
[with Rolando D. Acoriba, Jr., Ph.D., D.P.M./ College President, Tagoloan Community College]
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on April 25, 2014.