By Connie B. Destura
DARAGA, Albay, 30Oct2013 (PNA) – The Department of Health (DOH) Bicol regional office here has expressed optimism that the provincial government of Camarines Norte will further improve its maternal health program using the P1.2 million it recently received as a performance-based grant.
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, DOH Bicol regional director based here, said on Monday.
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.
To hit such target, Tallado has pledged to use the P1.2-million cash award in intensifying the province’s programs on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) being implemented in its 12 municipalities by the Provincial Health Office (PHO).
These programs include reproductive health-related projects on 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, 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.
In 2011, the provincial government was also able to put up 11 similar facilities in the municipalities of Daet, Labo, Mercedes, Paracale, Vinzons and San Vicente, Balboa added. (PNA)