By Jasmine G. Sarmiento
Cagayan de Oro City – ZONTA Club Cagayan de Oro 1 (ZCCDO1) recently sponsored a symposium on Maternal and Child Health Care (MCH) held at DCENT Center, Iglesia Filipina Independiente in Bulua, this city.
The said symposium in collaboration with Senator Pia S. Cayetano and Councilor Imee Moreno is aligned with Zonta’s advocacy of “Building a Better World for Women and Girls.” It focuses on ensuring that the most vulnerable women can access the services they need.
The ZCCDO1 highlights the importance of MCH as the best kind of intervention that includes prenatal and childbirth services.
It can be recalled that the country had a high maternal mortality rate a decade ago prior to the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RA 10354), which Cayetano defended and helped pass in 2012.
Caroline Neri, president of ZCCDO1 said It was participated in by 314 women from Barangays 1, Bulua, Kauswagan, Nazareth, Federation of Barangay Women Development Committee CDO, Inc and TINGOG SA Kasanag (TISAKA).
Neri said the participants included pregnant women, barangay health workers, city health workers, women’s organizations, and barangay nutrition scholars,
She said this seminar aims to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality with Dr. Vivian Eustaquio, MPA from the Office of Senator Pia as resource speaker, together with Team Pia (Pinay in Action).
Eustaquio said the country’s high population growth has significantly increased during the height of COVID 19 pandemic. She said population growth rate remains a significant factor in the incidence of poverty and poor health.
Stressing the MCH program of Cayetano, that aims to reduce maternal and child morbidity and mortality is being conducted all over the country, Eustaquio added.
She said It is designed to disseminate information on MCH which is one of the advocacies of the senator.
Priority areas of MCH interventions include antenatal, delivery, postpartum, and newborn health services, immunization, breastfeeding, maternal and child nutrition through micronutrient supplementation and food fortification
MCH assistance of Cayetano is aimed at accelerating the reduction in maternal and child deaths and promoting overall well-being, especially among women and children.
The senator’s support is also designed at leveraging national government resources for improved program performance at the local level, and increasing the utilization of maternal and newborn services by women and children, she added.
Moreover, it will enhance the capacity of the public and private providers to deliver quality MCH information and services as it covers the whole country in providing the information drive, Eustaquio said.
She said that the specific objectives of MCH care by Team PIA focuses on the reduction of maternal, perinatal, infant and childhood mortality and morbidity and the promotion of reproductive health and the physical and psychosocial development of the child and adolescent within the family.
Following the closing of the program is the distribution of Certificates of Participation to 314 women, while Councilor Imee Moreno, city’s chair of Women and Family Relations, awarded a plaque of recognition to ZCCDO1 for sponsoring the 1st Annual Symposium on MCH in the city of Cagayan de Oro.
Eustaquio on her part said “let’s leave this symposium committed to deliver essential, quality health care to every woman, every child, every family and everyone through the advocacy of Senator Pia, a leading voice for health and wellness in the Philippines.”
“Maternal deaths are preventable deaths. Most of these happen when there is no access to prenatal care, which would have allowed the patient to know ahead if there are complications in her pregnancy,” she told the participants in a mix of Bisaya and Tagalog.
The ZONTA’S symposium concluded by thanking the lady senator and her Team Pinay In Action for bringing the services to Cagayan de Oro through the initiative of ZCCDO1 director of Service Projects.