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Maternal and child health, among UNDAF’s top priorities

“No woman should die giving life. And no child should be robbed of life because of his or her mother’s death,” said Ms. Ugochi Daniels, Country Representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

In the Philippines, 11 women die everyday from treatable complications of pregnancy such as hemorrhage, hypertension and infections according to the 2006 Family Planning Survey of the National Statistics Office (NSO).

A 2010 data from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that the Philippines is one of 68 countries accounting for 95% of all maternal and newborn deaths in the world and no notable decrease has been recorded during the last several years.

To address the country’s problem in reducing child mortality and improving maternal health, the Philippines and the United Nations Country Teams (UNCT) pushed for the formulation of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2012-2018, which outlines the UNCT’s commitment to plan and work closely in support of the priorities, plans and programs of the Philippine government. Support for increased access to and utilization of high quality reproductive, maternal and neonatal health (RMNH) services will receive special emphasis under UNDAF.

“Our goal is about saving lives, families and communities. Hence, investments in maternal health are needed because the costs of not investing are very obvious and clear,” explained Ms. Daniels.

Last February 8, 2012, the Philippine government and UN officials signed the Joint Implementation Plan (JIP) that puts into operation the $370-million UNDAF 2012-2018.

“UN’s support will help improve access to and demand for health facility-based deliveries, emergency obstetric and neonatal care services and modern methods of family planning,” added Ms. Daniels.