THE Department of Health (DOH) yesterday launched the Universal Health Care High Impact Five (UHC-HI-5) at the Capitol Social Hall.

The UHC-HI-5 will focus on maternal, child and infant care, human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/Aids) and service delivery network.

The agency hopes to reduce maternal and infant deaths and HIV/Aids cases by the end of the year.

According to the DOH, HI-5 is a “strategy which aims to produce the greatest improvements in health outcomes and the highest impact on the priority, vulnerable population, with focus on five critical UHC interventions.”

DOH Assistant Secretary Gerardo Bayugo said at least eight million beneficiaries from 43 priority provinces will benefit from this program.

Bayugo said regional offices will intensify their operations to deliver services.

On the rise

In a presentation, DOH 7 Assistant Director Lakshmi Legaspi said the Philippines is one of nine countries with the highest increase in HIV reported cases among persons age 15 to 49 from 2001 to 2011.

Last September, 16 Filipinos were potentially being infected with HIV every day.

The most common modes of transmission are through anal sex and sharing of needles.

The HIV cases have also slightly increased among freelance female sex workers, Legaspi said.

She said the DOH reported 22,000 HIV cases in 2014.

In Cebu City, 23 were affected as a result of male to male sex; 239, from intravenous drug use; and 16, from freelance female sex workers.

DOH 7 Director Jaime Bernadas said the cities of Cebu, Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu should improve their social hygiene clinic services.

Strategy

“We are number two outside Metro Manila on the incidence of HIV and Aids. More are found every day or diagnosed every day and counting. Beware. Let us all be vigilant and emphasize on information and education. HIV and Aids is preventable. Let us all vigorously inform our people (about) the real threat of HIV and the Aids epidemic is within us,” Bernadas said.

He said the health department aims to reduce maternal mortality rate to 50 per 100,000 live births.

It also aims to reduce infant mortality rate to 17 per 1,000 live births and neonatal mortality rate to 10 per 1,000 live births.

“In order to address this gap and challenges, the DOH developed a strategy to heighten key priorities focusing on desired critical kalusugan pangkalahatan intervention with high impact on health,” Bayugo said.

Stakeholders signed yesterday the wall of pledge of commitment to address different health concerns.

Gov. Hilario Davide III told officials that the Province will support the program.