162 to 52 Coalition: Accelerating maternal health development through local health system development

Mr. Daniel Zuellig, Zuellig Family Foundation Board of Trustee welcomes all the stakeholders and guests during the 162 to 52 Health Summit.

Last April 20, 2012, the 162 to 52 Health Summit themed, “Accelerating Impact on Maternal and Child Health through Local Health System Development,” gathered various stakeholders from government, academe, profit and non-profit sectors to boost multi-sectoral efforts in addressing maternal and health challenges of the country.

The National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) recorded 162 maternal deaths out of 100,000 live births in 2010. It is estimated that 11 mothers die every day due to childbirth and pregnancy-related complications. “Maternal deaths impact infant and child mortality rates because 

when a low-income mother dies, a child is pushed into life of difficulty. According to the World Health organization (WHO), children who are left without mothers are three to ten times more at risk of dying,” said Mr. Daniel Zuellig of the Zuellig Family Foundation.

"The adjusted maternal mortality ratio of 162 per 100,000 live births is far from the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of 52 deaths per 100,000 live births,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.

With only three years left for the country to attain the MDGs by 2015, the 162 to 52 goal calls for drastic interventions. “We need local government to drive change, private sector to help government in its undertakings, and civil society organizations to sustain the efforts and deliver it to the grassroots,” said Mr. Zuellig.

In response, the Department of Health (DOH) spearheaded the formation of the multi-sectoral group called “162 to 52 Coalition.” 

The 162 to 52 Coalition is envisioned to be a catalyst for strategic, targeted and innovative public-private partnerships for the attainment of better maternal indicators working within three major components: 1) leadership - responsive local government units and support groups; 2) demand side - better health seeking behavior of the population; and 3) supply side – accessible and affordable services, facilities, personnel, essential medicines and commodities.

“The initiative provides opportunities and encourages private and civil society organizations to proactively contribute to needed interventions under one framework for action,” said Mr. Zuellig.

The 162 to 52 Summit was organized to provide the non-profit sector and LGUs a platform to establish their commitment to improve maternal and child health through public-private partnership at the local government level.

“Solving the maternal mortality problem requires the expertise and skills of both the public and private sectors,” Sec. Ona said.