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Philippine Birthing Centers Help New Mothers, Healthy Infants
Date:2/11/2009

Parveen said. This would help take comprehensive primary health care to the community level, and thereby bridge the gap between the public health infrastructure and the communities.

Pili, Camarines Sur, is located in the Bicol Region of the Philippines. More than half of the pregnant women in this rural area have traditionally received care from traditional birth attendants, also known as hilots.

The new facilities allow pregnant mothers quicker access to health care. According to the Rural Health Unit of Pili, only 40 percent of total pregnancies in 2006 were attended by professional health workers. This is consistent with findings from the National Demographic and Health Surveys, which show that women residing in rural areas usually receive little or no care from health professionals and are not informed of the dangers of pregnancy, such as miscarriage and pre-term labor.

The facilities offer patients access to trained health care workers. As part of the nearly $200,000 project, pre- and post-natal obstetric and pediatric care training was conducted by specialists from the Bicol Medial Center to 16 health professionals composed of midwives and nurses. Midwives, rural health nurses and volunteer nurses also attended a five-day training workshop on community-managed maternal and newborn care. Five village pharmacies have been formed and are ready to operate as well to provide medicine to mothers and newborns if needed.

Assisted delivery by skilled and trained personnel is associated with lower levels of illness and infant mortality, Parveen said.

CCF believes that what happens in the first years of life is the cornerstone upon which the child grows and develops. These new birthing centers are critical to CCF's goal of having healthy and secure infants in its programs.

The Sky Siegfried Fund is an annual gift from the Siegfried family. The family donates $500,0
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SOURCE Christian Children's Fund
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
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