US$3.6-M grants for maternal health services granted

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

THE World Bank (WB) has approved a US$3.6-million grant aimed to increase access to affordable maternal health services for poor families in six Eastern Visayas provinces.

The project initiated by WB, acting as administrator for the Global Partnership on Output-Based Aid (GPOBA), is expected to benefit about 145,000 poor families from the subsidized access to services including birth delivery and pre- and post-natal care.

The initiative will be implemented over a four-year period by Population Services Pilipinas Incorporated supported by Marie Stopes International Australia, established providers of maternal and child health care in the Philippines since 1990.


“This output-based aid scheme supports the new government’s reform agenda to achieve universal access to health care,” said Motoo Konishi, World Bank country director for the Philippines.

“The project also makes access to quality health services affordable through the subsidized voucher component and more inclusive by explicitly targeting the poor,” he said.

The funding agency said the GPOBA-funded scheme explicitly targets the poor to help address some of the barriers to their access to quality health services.

The project will raise the probability of the region to attain the United Nations-led Millennium Development Goals target on maternal health with timetable in 2015.

According to the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB), the region has 92 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births in 2010. The target is to bring down the ratio to 56 maternal deaths in 2015.

Of all birth deliveries, the NSCB said only 72.3 percent is being attended by skilled workers. The goal is to ensure that by 2015, all births should be delivered in health facilities.

The three project approaches include accreditation of 45 service providers in the project area; enrolment of about 145,000 families listed in the National Household Targeting System; and a subsidized voucher scheme to bridge the gap between co-payments charged by health service providers and the amount that target project beneficiaries can afford to pay for approved services.

WB said the project will also expand insurance coverage of the poor and support the upgrading of additional service providers in order to meet the national Philippine Health Insurance Corporation accreditation requirements. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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