2 Iloilo towns ban birthing at home-A A +A
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
TWO towns in Iloilo passed ordinances banning the deliveries of babies at home and ensuring penalties to violators, such as the mother and the person assisting her to deliver the baby at home.
In the ordinance approved by the Municipal Council of Dingle town requires expectant mothers to deliver in health facilities under the care of skilled health attendants. The ordinance imposes penalties to medical health practitioners and traditional birth attendants who perform home deliveries.
A separate ordinance passed by the Estancia Municipal Council, on the other hand, prohibits home deliveries and providing penalties in violation thereof. The ordinance also imposes fees for the service maintenance of the municipal birthing clinic of the Rural Health Unit of Estancia.
The two ordinances were submitted to the Iloilo Provincial Board for procedural review and first referred to the committee on health and sanitation chaired by first district Board member Macario Napulan.
A physician by profession, Napulan expressed concerns on the legality and regularity of the municipal ordinances. Napulan said the ordinances are very harsh and may only add more problems to the existing high incidence of maternal deaths.
“What about those who cannot afford birthing clinics or hospitals? I understand that the intent here is to minimize maternal deaths as called for by the Department of Health. But to put penal provisions is just very harsh,” Napulan said. (Lydia C. Pendon)