TACLOBAN CITY- The Department of Health (DOH) reported that the rate on child mortality here in the region has shown a tremendous decline. With the decrease of child mortality rate in the region, they are pinning hope that the rate of maternal death will also decline, said Jose Llacuna, regional health director. Llacuna said that currently, of the 1,000 babies born in the region, only seven of them die which is comparatively lower compare to the previous record of 40 babies. “It decreases and it’s a very good advance. In fact, we are up to expectations of everyone even in the national scale. We had a good performance in the infant mortality rate,” Llacuna said.

“If we can do that to the infants, hopefully we can do it to the mothers,” the health regional director added, referring on the maternal death cases of the region. Based on statistics of the World Health Organization, everyday, approximately 800 women die from pregnancy or childbirth – related complications. Statistics also showed that maternal mortality is higher in women living in rural areas and among poorer communities. Furthermore, Llacuna advised pregnant women living in the rural areas especially those who are on the remote areas to be prepared and be on the nearest birthing centers before their labor.

The DOH has devised several programs and steps on its effort to curb the child and maternal mortality rate in the country. Among these programs is the strict enforcement of Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) a practice involving parents and other family members of the new-born baby to observe a skin-to-skin contact and promote breastfeeding. (SHERYMAE P. SESO, LNU-INTERN)