DARAGA, Albay, 19Sept2013 (PNA) – The Department of Health (DOH) has awarded the provincial government of Camarines Norte P1.2 million as performance-based grant for the province’s outstanding accomplishments in Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN).
The grant is an incentive that will serve as additional fund to help the province sustain its programs and projects in this area of public health, Gloria Balboa, the DOH regional director for Bicol based here, on Thursday said.
In recently receiving the grant, the province, through Governor Edgardo Tallado, vowed to work more for maternal health and lowering of infant mortality by at least 10 percent up to the end of this year, Balboa said.
To hit such target, she said, the Camarines Norte governor has pledged to use the P1.2-million cash award in intensifying the province’s programs on MNCHN being implemented in its 12 municipalities by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
These programs include maternal care, family planning, blood supply, nutrition, health information and promotion and expanded program on immunization.
The PHO will also initiate a review on MNHCN to assess the progress of its implementation and be able to institute measures toward the betterment of services to pregnant mothers and new-born babies, Balboa said.
The DOH regional chief explained that the performance-based grant is given to local government units that deliver good services towards MNHCN, especially to the indigent sector.
Camarines Norte was awarded the grant for its being able to reduce last year maternal and infant death by way of institutionalizing lying-in clinics and Basic Emergency Maternal and Obstetrical New Born Care facilities using its own fund and the assistance provided by the Spanish Agency for International Development Corporation, Balboa said.
Under Tallado’s leadership, she said, the province was able to establish last year five birthing homes provided with equipment and necessary facilities in strategic locations in the municipalities of Daet, Mercedes, Vinzons, Labo and San Lorenzo Ruiz.
DOH data indicate that pneumonia is the leading cause of infant death and complications related to pregnancy occurring in the course of labor, delivery and post delivery and abortion cases are the causes of maternal mortality.
It said pneumonia triggered by poor nutrition due to poverty leads to the high infant mortality rate in the region.
Data indicate that about one out of 10 babies in Bicol dies due to pneumonia triggered by malnutrition.
Balboa said that given such prevalence, policy makers and local government officials need to set their priorities and properly allocate resources to ensure the best health care possible is made available so that the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 are met.
In Bicol, infant deaths per 1,000 live births rose to 11.1 in 2010 from 8.61 in 2009 while the target was 8.4.
Premature birth, severe infections, congenital anomalies were the other leading causes of death.
Maternal mortality ratio in the region is 97 per 100,000 live births with preventable complications related to labor and delivery as the leading causes. (PNA)