Sunday, April 24, 2016

Philippines - WHO Subnational Initiative: Accelerating Convergence Efforts Through Systems Strengthening for Maternal and Newborn Health (AcCESS for MNH) in Davao, Philippines

The Accelerating Convergence Efforts Through Systems Strengthening for Maternal and Newborn Health (AcCESS for MNH), a project of the World Health Organization Sub National Initiative (WHO SNI) in partnership with the Department of Health Regional Office XI (DOH RO XI), shared its insights and experiences in addressing maternal and newborn health challenges in Davao Region in a forum entitled “Stories from the Field: Walang Nanay at Sanggol ang Mamamatay dahil sa Panganganak” (No mother and newborn shall die from childbirth-related causes) in Davao City.

The forum was an avenue for project partners to take stock of what was done so far, and re-evaluate what works and what doesn’t. It was an opportunity to share early wins, insights, and experiences in implementing activities and strategies on maternal and newborn health. Various stakeholders such as barangay officials, community leaders, barangay health workers, midwives, and other health service providers committed to continuously work together to improve maternal and neonatal health in Davao Region.

AcCESS for MNH is a three-year project launched in 2015 with funding support from the Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA). It is part of WHO’s Sub National Initiative to model a systematic and evidence-based approach in improving implementation of the country’s Universal Health Care at community level, capitalizing on WHO’s core function as a global leader in public health. AcCESS for MNH seeks to provide catalytic technical and advisory support to DOH RO XI and partner local government units (LGUs) to accelerate convergence of efforts for the health and survival of mothers and newborns, especially among the most disadvantaged populations. It aims to strengthen health systems and governance, establish a functional network of services, and improve utilization of quality maternal and newborn services in the neediest communities in the region, towards the overarching goal of reducing maternal and neonatal deaths in Davao Region. It is being implemented in ten LGUs in the four provinces of Davao as follows: Malita, Sta. Maria, and Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental; Maco, Mabini, and Pantukan in Compostela Valley; Tagum City and New Corella in Davao del Norte; and Manay and Caraga in Davao Oriental.

The forum, held last February 9, was attended by DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Nestor Santiago, KOICA Deputy Director Heesoo Hong and Health Specialist Dr Michelle Apostol, DOH RO XI Regional Director Dr. Abdullah B. Dumama Jr. and Assistant RD Dr. Annabelle Yumang, WHO Philippines Technical Officers led by Dr Benjamin Lane and Ms Lucille Angela Nievera, other DOH officials, municipal mayors, Provincial Health Officers, DOH Representatives, and community health service providers.

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