Targeting interior villages
LLORENTE, Eastern Samar – This town is aiming to have a zero death due to maternal delivery, especially those living on its far and isolated villages.
And part of its effort to achieve death among pregnant women is the construction of a ‘waiting home’ located at the town center where women who are about to deliver their babies will be staying, for safety reason.
Priority of this waiting home, which is located within town’s evacuation center whose construction was funded by the Department of Interior and Local Government and is adjacent to its rural health center, are the four villages known as geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas(GIDAs), said town Mayor Daniel Boco.
The four GIDA villages are Can-ato, Candoros, Burak and Magtino. The town has 33 villages.
GIDA refers to communities with marginalized population physically and socio-economically separated from the mainstream society and characterized by physical factors and isolated due to distance, weather conditions and transportation difficulties (island, upland, lowland, landlocked, hard to reach and unserved/underserved communities), and socio-economic factors (high poverty incidence, presence of vulnerable sector, communities in or recovering from situation of crisis or armed conflict).
“One of the causes of maternal death is home delivery. The reason why there is maternal delivery is because they live in a community that is inaccessible and far from birthing homes,” Mayor Boco said.
The waiting home facility is free of charge for pregnant women and is free of food and check-up.
“The facility is now open. We are only waiting for our pregnant women to use it,”he town mayor said.
It was learned from Boco that they have not recorded a single mortality due to delivery for the past few years now.
Aside from the construction of a waiting home, another factor initiated by the municipal government to address possible death of pregnant women was the enactment of an ordinance prohibiting the delivery of babies through the ‘hilots’ or midwives.
The ordinance provides a P2,000 fine for hilots who will do the delivery but they will be rewarded by P500 if they will refer the pregnant women who are to deliver their babies to a birthing facility.
(ROEL T. AMAZONA)