DOH initiates measures to lower maternal deaths in Negros Occidental

August 12, 2015 5:26 am 

BACOLOD CITY, August 11 — Health officials said measures are being taken to lower the maternal mortality rate in Negros Occidental, including Bacolod City.

At present, Negros Occidental has the highest number of maternal deaths among the six provinces in Western Visayas while Bacolod City ranks second among the highly-urbanized and major cities in the region, data of the Department of Health (DOH) Region 6 showed.

Negros Occidental has an average of 102.27 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, even higher than the regional average 90 per 100,000 live births.

Among the cities, Iloilo ranked first with 201.10 maternal mortality per 100,000 live births followed by Bacolod City, with 147.26.

Health Regional Director Marlyn Convocar said in a press conference here Monday that high maternal rate is attributed to hypertension during pregnancy and low prenatal care that is supposedly done four times.

Convocar said about 10 percent of maternal death cases is due to teenage pregnancy.

She also cited postpartum hemorrhage (PPH) as one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, “meaning no available blood on the ground.”

Delays caused by mobility, referral for the patient on where to deliver, and lack or absence of skilled attendants are factors that may also cause maternal death, Convocar added.

To address these pressing concerns on high maternal mortality ratio in the region, the DOH has implemented several programs like giving Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care training to midwives as well as doctors and nurses.

Dr. Luz Altarejos, head of the gynecology department of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital (CLMMRH), said the hospital will launch another program, a free counseling and check-up for young women who are with “high risk pregnancy” to prevent being pregnant again in their young age.

Hospital chief Dr. Julius Drilon said they are doing everything to curb maternal deaths and reach the target of less than 52 cases this year.

“Pregnancy is not a disease thus, no pregnant women should die,” Drilon said. (PNA)

LAP/NLG/EPN

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