Friday, 24 May 2019

Sarangani bags health, family planning award

ALABEL, Sarangani (April 3, 2016) - The Provincial Health Office has once again bagged the award for Best in Local Health Initiatives in Family Planning Program in the whole Region XII during the latest implementation review.

The province runs three major sustainable initiatives – Paaral para sa Sarangan, Tutok Buntis, Resiliency Program for Barangay Health Workers -- which were the bases for the award.

Paaral para sa Sarangan is a scholarship program which gives opportunities for Indigenous People (IP) especially in Geographically Isolated Depressed Areas (GIDA) to become midwives. It is actually anchored in Sulong Sarangani, a poverty alleviation program of Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon.

Paaral courses are redirected to midwifery in order to address the scarcity of maternal health care providers in all barangays.

Out of 13 scholars, nine are already licensed practitioners and been hired by the provincial government to serve in GIDA areas. Presently, there is one midwife per barangay and two for big barangays. With their advent, the decline in mortality among mothers is evident.

Tutok Buntis addresses the high number of mortality among pregnant women. It started in 2012 as a paradigm shift program from mere medical outreach.

In 2011 to 2012, 24 deaths among mothers were reported. But in 2013, it declined to 17, nine in 2014 and seven in 2015. So a significant drop was clearly achieved.

Tutok Buntis is a one-stop shop activity that focuses also in GIDA and IP dense communities. Pregnant women can avail of laboratory examinations for urinalysis, hemoglobin determination and blood typing and even ultrasound by an OB gynecologist.

Also, micronutrients supplementation (Ferrous Sulfate, Iron, Vitamin A) are supplied to them. Deworming, tetanus toxoid immunization and counseling are also included in the process.

Insecticide- treated bed nets which can last for five years are also distributed.

Sarangani Province also ranked third in the accomplishment of having higher average in Contraceptive Prevalence Rate (CPR) where 45,340 women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years old) utilized contraceptives.

CPR refers to mothers who are using birth control methods like pills and injectable and long acting methods such as ligation, Implanon insertion and natural family planning methods.

Sarangani reached 66.88% which is way beyond the national percentage of 60% rate of women who are using family planning methods. That is one of the reasons the province ranked third for the second time, South Cotabato placed 1st, and North Cotabato placed 2nd.

Sarangani also focuses on mitigating the increasing number of teenage pregnancy. In 2015 statistics, there were 3,203 pregnant teenagers, ages 10 to 19 which is alarming because of the 24% increase. Children who get pregnant at an early age become economically unproductive and might have complications in giving birth. (Cherry Marie Irish D. Cruz / SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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