Health director: Reducing maternal deaths difficult-A A +A
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
PALO, Leyte -- Reducing maternal mortality under the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is very challenging in the region but measures have been stepped up to ensure that “no mother will die while giving birth.”
Jaime Bernadas, DOH regional director, said in the entire country, it will be “somehow difficult” to attain reduction by three-quarters the maternal mortality ratio by 2015 because of inaccurate data.
“We have difficulty in addressing this because records on maternal mortality were not really that accurate when we made the baseline in 2006. When we have improved our reporting system, we found out that official figures are really higher than what was reported,” Bernadas told Leyte Samar Daily Express.
In Eastern Visayas, the 2011 report shows 86 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which is close to the MDG reduction target of 51 mortalities.
“If we look at 86 moving to 51 is somehow attainable but taking into consideration the accuracy of this report, we are validating the report by organizing the community health teams to verify the data. This started in Leyte and we will be expanding to all areas,” he said.
By organizing community health teams, the department will now have verifiable data as to the actual incidence of maternal mortalities and put into action actual interventions in addressing the problems on maternal care at the barangay level.
The National Statistical Coordination Board reported that in 1990, which is the MDG base year, 225 mothers in the region died after giving birth. In 2010, maternal deaths were reduced to 91 but still far from the 56 MDG target by 2015.
“Organizing health teams started last year and will be completed in 2013. All of this will be in place and hopefully will reduce maternal mortalities in the region,” Bernadas added.
The DOH said high mortality rates can be due to poor investments in upgrading of health facilities before 2010, leaving most facilities overcrowded and in poor physical state. In addition, some five million poor households are yet to be enrolled in health insurance to avail of its benefits. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)