Posts Tagged ‘Maternal Deaths’

Population, Poverty, Politics and the Reproductive Health Bill

Jul 29, 2012 • 6:36 PM


Ernesto M. Pernia, Stella Alabastro-Quimbo, Maria Joy V. Abrenica, Ruperto P. Alonzo, Agustin L. Arcenas, Arsenio M. Balisacan, Dante B. Canlas, Joseph J. Capuno, Ramon L. Clarete, Rolando A. Danao, Emmanuel S. de Dios, Aleli de la Paz-Kraft, Benjamin E. Diokno, Geoffrey M. Ducanes, Marina B. Durano, Emmanuel F. Esguerra, Raul V. Fabella, Teresa J. Ho, Dennis Claire S. Mapa, Felipe M. Medalla, Maria Nimfa F. Mendoza, Solita C. Monsod, Toby Melissa C. Monsod, Fidelina Natividad-Carlos, Aniceto C. Orbeta, Cayetano W. Paderanga, Majah-Leah V. Ravago, Gerardo P. Sicat, Orville C. Solon, and Edita A.Tan. *

The population issue has long been dead and buried in developed and most developing countries, including historically Catholic countries. That it continues to be debated heatedly in our country merely testifies to the lack of progress in policy and action. The Catholic Church hierarchy has maintained its traditional stance against modern family planning (FP) methods, particularly modern (also referred to as “artificial”) contraceptives. On the other hand, the State acknowledges the difficulties posed for development by rapid population growth, especially among the poorest Filipinos. But it has been immobilized from effectively addressing the issue by the Catholic hierarchy’s hard-line position, as well as the tendency of some politicians to cater to the demands of well-organized and impassioned single-issue groups for the sake of expediency. Caught between a hard Church and a soft State are the overwhelming majority of Filipinos who affirm the importance of helping women and couples control the size of their families and the responsibility of the government to provide budgetary support for modern FP services.

Renewed impetus to the debate has been given by the public and political interest in the decade-and-a-half old bill on “Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development” (RH bill, for short). Unfortunately, serious discussion has been hampered by the lack of reliable information and the proclivity of some parties in the debate to use epithets that label the bill as “pro-abortion”, “anti-life”, and “immoral”.
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Study Says Meeting Contraception Needs Could Cut Maternal Deaths by a Third

Lynsey Addario for The New York Times

A hospital maternity ward in New Delhi. The United Nations estimated in 2011 that the world’s population will keep growing.

Published: July 9, 2012

A new study by researchers at Johns Hopkins University shows that fulfilling unmet contraception demand by women in developing countries could reduce global maternal mortality by nearly a third, a potentially great improvement for one of the world’s most vulnerable populations.

The study, published on Tuesday in The Lancet, a British science journal, comes ahead of a major family planning conference in London organized by the British government and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is an attempt to refocus attention on the issue. It has faded from the international agenda in recent years, overshadowed by efforts to combat AIDS and other infectious diseases, as well as by ideological battles.

The proportion of international population assistance funds that went to family planning fell to just 6 percent in 2008, down from 55 percent in 1995, while spending on H.I.V./AIDS represented 74 percent of the total in 2008, up from just 9 percent in 1995, according to Rachel Nugent, a professor of global health at the University of Washington, who cited figures from the United Nations Population Fund.

But population growth has continued to surge, with the United Nations estimating last year that the world’s population, long expected to stabilize, will instead keep growing. Population experts warn that developing countries, particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa, where fertility continues to be high and shortages of food and water are worsening, will face deteriorating conditions if family sizes do not shrink.
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Senseless Maternal Deaths

BIZLINKS By Rey Gamboa (The Philippine Star) Updated June 22, 2012 12:00 AM

Despite the millions of dollars in foreign aid as well as pesos from the government coffers spent on maternal health in the Philippines during the last decade, why are we seeing a rise in the numbers of mothers dying from giving birth?

The latest results issued by the Family Health Survey citing 2011 data revealed that maternal mortality rates (MMR) had increased to 221 from 162 between 2006 and 2011. That’s a 36.42- percent jump that just caught us by surprise.

MMR is the number of maternal deaths measured by 100,000 live births. A maternal death is defined by the World Health Organization as the death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy.

The Philippines is committed to bring down its MMR to 70 by 2015, and the recent uptrend has made the task even more insurmountable. In fact, our figures are back to where it was about a decade ago.

So where have we been remiss?

Reproductive health (RH) advocates, including those who support the passage of a bill currently languishing in Congress, are quick to point out the root cause being the lack of a national policy that will provide comprehensive services on RH and family planning.

And perhaps rightly so since the RH bill or HB 4244 (The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011) that has been subjected to so much politicking by anti-abortion and anti-population control advocates as well as the Church, so much so that the bill has failed to pass despite so many revisions since its first introduction.
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Philippines Fails to Reduce Maternal Mortality Over 10 Years – DOH

18-Jun-12, 9:03 PM | Philippine News Agency |

MANILA, Philippines – Over the last decade, the rate of maternal mortality in the Philippines has failed to improve, Health Secretary Enrique Ona bared on Monday.

From 2006 to 2010, there were 221 deaths for every 100,000 live births recorded. The rate is higher than the 162 deaths per 100,000 live births from 2000 to 2005, but statistically rounds out to the same maternal mortality ratio, Ona said. Whatever the case, it is clearly not an improvement.

“This is a challenge for us,” the health secretary said. “Despite efforts, our interventions to lower maternal deaths have no progress because the numbers haven’t changed,” Ona told reporters.

The DOH has been working to lower the maternal mortality rate to 54 per 100,000 live births.
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Maternal Mortality Rate Rose in 2011, Says DOH

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
7:08 pm | Monday, June 18th, 2012

Health Secretary Enrique Ona

MANILA, Philippines–More Filipino mothers are dying during childbirth, underscoring their “unmet need” for modern family planning services, the Department of Health said Monday.

Health Secretary Enrique Ona, in a press briefing, said the mortality rate for Filipino mothers has increased to 221 per 100,000 live births in 2011 from 162 per 100,000 live births in 2009. Under the Millennium Development Goals, the global set of targets for reducing poverty, the Philippines must lower the maternal mortality rate to 52 per 100,000 live births.

He described the latest statistics as “alarming,” noting that maternal health is an important indicator of the government’s performance in improving the health of its citizens.
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(Video) Mareng Winnie: We Must Allow Our Women to Plan Their Families

Uploaded by gmanews on Apr 14, 2012

In the episode “Buwis Buhay”, Mareng Winnie calls for the education of our women in the use of natural and artificial family planning, to enable them to properly plan their families, and choose for themselves the number of children they want. Aired April 11, 2012.

Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie airs every Wednesday, 8pm, on GMA News TV.