You are here

Pregnant and lacating women from various evacuation centers affected by tropical storm Sendong in Cagayan de Oro City, Iligan City and the municipality of Bubong in Lanao del Norte are receiving much needed maternal care from reproductive health medical missions being conducted for women in the flood-affected communities in Northern Mindanao and Eastern Visayas.

Through the support of the United Nations Population Fund, the medical missions are being organized to address the specific medical needs of pregnant and lactating women. There are medical missions regularly conducted in evacuation camps but they provide only general medical services. The RH medical missions specifically provide critical prenatal and postnatal care for pregnant women and mothers who are breastfeeding babies up to six months.

The medical missions are organized with the Department of Health Region 10, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, Philippine Nurses Association, Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines.

Aside from maternal and newborn care, the medical missions also provide health information sessions on such topics as pregnancy and childbirth, sexually transmitted infections including HIV and AIDS, and violence against women. Peer education sessions are also conducted for the youth in evacuation centers to provide them information on how they can make good use of their time.

Dignity kits are also provided to all pregnant and lactating women during the medical missions. Women in their last trimester of pregnancy also get a clean delivery kit which is could be used in case of emergency childbirth outside a birthing clinic or hospital.

The hygiene kit is composed of basic hygiene supplies to help women maintain sanitation while staying evacuation camps to protect them and their babies from disease and infection. The kit contains soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, face towel, a malong, underwear, towels, toilet paper, sanitary pads, nail cutter, laundry bar, potty and ladle all packaged in a pail which could be used for storing water.

More than 2,000 pregnant and lactating women have already availed of services provided during the medical missions since the partners were mobilized in early January 2012.