Some 200 hundred expectant mothers from different barangays in the city have attended the Buntis Congress 2017 with this year’s theme, sa REXponsableng preggy, healthy si baby, held at the Valenzuela City Town Hall, Valenzuela Town Center, March 23, 2017.
A six long years running partnership between the City Health Department and the Rotary Club of Valenzuela, free lectures on the importance of prenatal/postpartum check-up, breastfeeding, responsible parenthood, reproductive health law and family planning, RPR and HIV counseling and testing were conducted during the program.Booths were set-up within the area to provide information and basic services to women, such as provision of free ferrous sulfate with folic acid tablets, newborn screening test kits and dental services were also given to the participants. Proper newborn care was also discussed to them.
This year’s Buntis Congress aims to increase the knowledge of women and their partners about safe motherhood and pregnancy-related services that they can avail from our health facilities. Also, to reach out to a bigger number of people and impart to them that a healthy pregnancy can save both the lives of mother and her unborn child.
“Ang ating City Health Office ay palaging handang tumulong sa mga mommy at napatunayan namin ang mga mommy na handang makipagtulungan ay mayroong healthy baby. (Our City Health Office is always ready to support the pregnant women and we have proven that moms who coordinate with us are blessed with healthy babies.)”, Dr. Janet A. San Agustin, City Health Department’s Maternal and Child Health program coordinator for district 1 said during an interview.
Six months pregnant with twins, Jacklyn Dalida from Barangay Marulas said that what she has learned in the program and the freebies she received were very helpful to support her pregnancy since she has three children and an on call construction worker husband.
Vice Mayor Lorie Natividad Borja said in her inspirational message, “Masuwerte kayong mga mabibiyayaan ng mga baby dahi maraming kababaihan ang nangangarap na magbuntis subalit hindi mabiyayaan. (You are lucky to be blessed with babies because there are a lot of women who wants to get pregnant but are not capable.)” She also emphasized on her talk the importance of proper care through out the nine months of pregnancy, the benefits they get from breastfeeding and other tips for safe motherhood.
In the 2016 annual report of the city health department, there were a total of 4 maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage, pulmonary congestion and cardiomyopathy which were attributed to poor prenatal check-up and delayed referral to appropriate hospital.
It is also stated in the report that to reduce maternal mortality, all women must have access to reproductive health services, including contraception to determine the number and spacing of their children.
Antenatal care, all deliveries and postpartum care must be attended by skilled birth attendants with timely access to quality emergency obstetric and newborn care when needed and all mothers and newborns must benefit from postpartum visits.
This year’s Buntis Congress targets to improve women’s health, reduce maternal and neonatal death, and to increase the proportion of pregnant women having at least four antenatal care visits in their respective health centers by 25% at the end of 2017.
Rotary Club of Valenzuela has been organizing the congress annually as part of the continuous campaign of the City of Valenzuela to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in the city.