WHO, UN Body Say Phl Needs RH Law

By Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) Updated April 21, 2012 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – The World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) cited yesterday the need for the Philippines to have a law on reproductive health (RH) to institutionalize policies and programs on maternal and child health.

In a press conference highlighting “162 to 52 Summit on Maternal and Child Health,” UNFPA Country Representative Ugochi Daniels said without an RH law, efforts to prevent mothers and children from dying depend on the “coalitions of women who do advocacies to potentially win partnership at the local level.”

“What a national policy will ensure is that the reproductive state of the Filipinos is protected and mandated at the national level,” she said.

WHO Country Representative Dr. Soe Nyunt-u agreed that the “RH bill is of paramount importance for the welfare of the Filipino people.”

During the summit, the “162 to 52 Coalition” was convened. It is composed of the WHO, UNFPA, Department of Health, League of Provinces of the Philippines, local officials, Zuellig Family Foundation, Philippine Business for Social Progress, and other organizations.

The group was named after the 2008 maternal mortality rate of the Philippines – 162 per 100,000 live births – and the Millennium Development Goal target of reducing it to 52 deaths per 100,000 by 2015.

The coalition had committed to come up with programs that would ensure the reduction of maternal and child deaths. This means that every day, 11 Filipino mothers die due to inadequate pre and post-natal care.

“Usually, these mothers do not get the proper care they rightfully deserve due to lack of information, access and financial resources. The poor get caught in a poverty trap as most of them marry young, decide to have more children, and only get little access to reproductive health,” a fact-sheet showed.

Source: http://www.philstar.com/headlines/798817/who-un-body-say-phl-needs-rh-law


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