Project up to capacitate IPs on maternal, child health

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Saturday, May 31, 2014


THE National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Pamulaan Center for Indigenous People Education hatched a project on Friday that will capacitate the IP members on maternal and child health.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was signed at the Pamulaan Center at the University of Southeastern Philippines (Usep) in Mintal. The project cost is 399,990 euros or about P24.9 million, of which P5.9 million was awarded to Davao Medical School Foundation (DMSF) while the remaining P18 million was for the Pamulaan.

The funding for this project, dubbed as "IP Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health, and Nutrition Needs (IP MNCHN)," was part of 5 million euros worth of grants from the European Eunion given to NCIP.

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In an interview, Dr. Lilibeth Malabanan said a total of 15 IP members coming from five IP groups in Mindanao, namely; Subanen Tribe (Dumingag, Zamboanga Del Sur); Matigsalug-Manobo Tribe (Sinuda Kitaotao, Bukidnon); Dibabawon Mangguangan Tribe (Montevista, Compostela Valley); Arumamen-Manobo (Bentangan, Carmen, North Cotabato); and Bawaan and Talaandig (Binicalan, San Luis, Agusan del Sur) will be benefiting from the capacity building.

"It's going to be a lecture for three to five days and then practicum, they will go back to the community, and implement the learning and then come back again for another learning," she said. The project will last for two years.

Lawyer Leonor Quintayo, chairperson of NCIP, added that the IP MNCHN seeks to zero in the number of maternal and neonatal deaths in the IP communities.

The five areas were selected based on the health indicators issued by the Department of Health (DOH) where high maternal and neonatal deaths had been recorded.

"As far as the indigenous and cultaral communities are concerned, we will surely and work hard to attain that goal." she said.

She added the IPs coming from hinterlands and other geographically isolated areas are the ones least likely to avail of the medical services.

The lack of medical facilities within the ancestral domain is one major concern that NCIP is hoping to address through proper government agencies like DOH, Department of Public Works and Highways (DWPH), and the local government unit (LGU).

She added the IP MNCHN is designed with an ancestral domain approach such that IPs undergoing the training can help address the problems within their respective communities.

"This capcity building will not only focus on that particular project, but the development of the entire ancestral domain," she said.

William Verpoest, head of contracts and finance section of the EU, said capacity building is only a fragment of an entire program that is aimed at reducing child mortality and improve maternal health.

Of the projects funded by EU, 60 percent has already been implemented.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on June 01, 2014.

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