DOH-CALABARZON Family Health Cluster Outcome Manager Dr. Felices Emerita P. Perez led the distribution of maternity kits, newborn kits, emergency birthing kits and dignity kits during her teams visit in one of the evacuation centers in Batangas
The Department of Health (DOH) – CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) has deployed teams from its Family Health Unit (FHU) to safeguard and provide maternal and reproductive health services to expecting and nursing mothers staying in various evacuation centers in Batangas province.
“This is to ensure the health and safety of women in evacuation areas and also to ensure that maternal health care services will still continue including the strengthening of protocols in preventing and responding to gender based violence (GBV) during calamities and emergencies,” Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo stated.
“Women are the most vulnerable among our population especially during natural disasters because they suffer increased risk of physical and mental health issues including pregnant related concerns and caring for their family. And we have to extend them health support and coping mechanisms for them to be protected and improve their health and well-being.”
“With the continuing influx of people in evacuation centers, it is essential that life-saving reproductive health care services are not disrupted and shall continue even in evacuation centers, especially for pregnant and lactating women,” he stressed.
The FHU has been providing gynecological consultations and various health tests including vital sign and test for infections were conducted. “Pregnant women were given prenatal exams including fetal heart monitoring.
Regional FHU Outcome Manager Felices Emerita P. Perez said that emergency maternity tent facilities for the isolation of pregnant women and those who have given birth including personal protective equipment (PPEs) were installed in evacuation centers.
“Maternity kits, newborn kits, emergency birthing kits and dignity kits were also given to pregnant women in evacuation centers including those in isolation facilities,” she added.
Perez emphasized that the National Policy on the Minimum Initial Service package (MISP) for Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) in Health Emergencies and Disasters was first implemented in the region through the initiative of the Family Health Unit together with partner agencies and stakeholders.
The MISP-SRH program also includes the delivery of life-saving information and education materials and awareness related to SRH and GBV combined with psychosocial support for women, adolescent and youth.
The initiative is being conducted with the support of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Batangas Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office, provincial and various local government units of Batangas province.