The approval of the ordinance establishing “Systems and Mechanisms for the Implementation of the Maternal Newborn, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) strategy in Davao City” is expected to further improve the city’s campaign on maternal and child care.
With the MNCHN, the city hopes to improve its compliance with the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which includes child mortality reduction and improvement of maternal health.
The UN’s 15-year anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ended in 2015 but it introduced in January this year a more ambitious goal to banish social ills by 2030 known as the 17 SDGs.
The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was unanimously adopted by 193 heads of state and other top leaders during a summit at the UN Headquarters in New York in September, aims to serve as a blueprint and to-do list for the planet to wipe out poverty, tackle climate change and fight inequality.
“When we started working on this ordinance in 2014 there were 62 maternal deaths but it has gone down to 28 maternal deaths in 2015,” said councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte, chair of the committee on health.
However, she added, the number could be misleading because “there are still women who deliver at home and we can’t track them.”
The MNCHN has provisions on the full immunization of children and prevention of diseases with the City Health Office as implementing agency, but with training assistance from the Health Department.
One of the strategies to improve maternal and child health is to transform the 17 health centers in the city into birthing centers. But while the Department of Health (DoH) has provided the city P80 million for the purchase of more modern medical equipment needed by the health centers, the city government still needs another P80 million to upgrade the health centers into maternity centers that will be able to respond to the regular birthing requirements of Dabawenyos. Lovely A. Carillo