Sufficient medical care for pregnant women urged

June 29, 2023 Ryan Ponce Pacpaco 175 views

DEPUTY Speaker and Las Piñas City Rep. Camille Villar has sought much needed improvements in healthcare delivery to ensure pregnant women get sufficient medical care and to combat rise in pregnancy-related complications, including deaths.

Villar has filed House Resolution (HR) No. 1025 to look into the rising maternal deaths in recent years, as 2,478 women died due to pregnancy-related complications or childbirth in 2021, or about 6-7 dying daily.

As the 1987 Philippine Constitution embraces the principle “Salus populi est suprema lex” or the welfare of the people is the supreme law, Villar said “it is the duty of the government to promote programs that are responsive to the needs of the people and to ensure that women in particular—and the public in general—have equal access and easy access to adequate healthcare programs.”

Citing recent reports, Villar said the ratio of Filipino women dying from pregnancy-related causes in 2021 stood at 189.21 per 100,000 live births. Fourteen percent of pregnant women did not receive necessary medical care including regular checkups during their pregnancy, while one in 10 women was also unable to access health facilities nor assistance from skilled healthcare personnel during childbirth.

In 2020, a total of 1,975 women were identified as having died of maternal causes in the country, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) compared with 1,458 deaths in 2019.

Villar said the rising pregnancy-related deaths underscores the maternal mortality crisis in the Philippines and called on the government to ensure easier access to a full range of reproductive health care services.

“It is imperative to institute reforms with the way the present state of affairs of the country’s healthcare is being run, rethink present strategies and support key programs for reproductive health,” Villar wrote.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals adopted by countries, including the Philippines, in 2015, aim to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by year 2030.

The SDGs also seek to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare services including family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programs.