popcom-logoTACLOBAN CITY, July 11 (PNA) — The Commission on Population (PopCom) will step up awareness campaign to prevent maternal deaths in rural communities.

On Monday, PopCom launched the regional dissemination of Sixth State of the Philippine Population Report (SPPR6), a document that discusses issues on maternal mortality and explores the underlying factors contributing to its incidence.

Rosalinda D. Marcelino, Popcom deputy executive director said the report presents national policies now in forced. These are the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law and other national and local program interventions to curb maternal deaths.

Marcelino lamented that the number of Filipino mothers dying from pregnancy and childbirth continues to rise.

Among the reasons include clinical, physical and geographical to social, cultural, economic, and political.

“With the enactment of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, many of these factors can be addressed, however, the mere presence of the law is not enough,” Marcelino explained.

She stressed the commitment on the part of all stakeholders, recognition of what needs to be done, and a strong will to create a truly healthy environment for women.

SPPR6 features four emerging good practices that can be replicated in other areas.

These are the good governance and community empowerment towards safe motherhood program that helped reduce incidence of maternal deaths; the project midwife in every community in the Autonomous Region Muslim Mindanao (MECA), which deploys registered midwives in villages especially in the remote areas with no permanently assigned registered nurse or midwife.

Also listed is the economical and enhanced safe motherhood project considered as the best rural health unit programs in the country by Department of Health.

Another good practice is the health leadership and governance program enabling local leaders towards better local health systems. The program focuses on the personal leadership transformation of local health leaders, including local chief executives and local health officials.

“Mothers are bearers of life. No mother should die while bearing and giving life,” Marcelino added.

Despite varying results in measuring maternal deaths, they all point to the sad reality that a considerable number of Filipino mothers die every year during pregnancy and after delivery.

The country failed to meet the Millennium Development Goals on reducing maternal mortality ratio to 52 per 100,000 live births by 2015.

The 2015 SPPR6 published by POPCOM discusses various factors related to maternal mortality as well as existing national and local policies and programs aimed and promoting women’s health and safe motherhood.

It also explains various methods by which maternal deaths are measured and recorded in order to understand and prevent incidence.

The regional launch ended with the signing of pledge of commitment of support from the DOH, National Economic Development Authority, Leyte provincial government and the Visayas Health Project, and Engenderhealth Philippines to address maternal mortality. (PNA)