To achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on the health and well-being of citizens, the local government of Quezon City partnered with several health institutions to further care for the mother and child—from conception to post-birth childcare.
Mayor Herbert Bautista told attendees of the 4th Maternal and Neonatal Health Summit that the city government will ensure UN development goals of boosting public health, improving maternal health, and reducing neonatal mortality through a localized and sustainable Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) approach and by implementing a functional Service Delivery Network (SDN). The summit was organized by the Quezon City Health Department together with United Laboratories Inc. (Unilab).
Bautista underscored the priority programs of his government to address maternal and neonatal health, particularly the Seal of Excellence, which seeks to enforce the strict compliance of private lying-ins to the Department of Health’s (DOH’s) standards and to enhance public-private partnership in resource mobilization, monitoring and evaluation.
“Reforms in the local health systems will considerably lower the risks of dying secondary to pregnancy and childbirth. We need to standardize regulation and accreditation of birthing facilities and enhance further the referral network, reporting, and transport systems to improve service delivery,” Quezon City Health Officer III Verdades Linga said.
The Seal of Excellence is the quality label awarded to private lying-in clinics in Quezon City that have met all essential maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition (MNCHN) indicators using the DOH-approved MNCHN tools – like DOH’s License to Operate (LTO), PhilHealth Accreditation, Sanitary Permit and membership in the City’s Safe Delivery Network (SDN). Recipients of the Seal of Excellence for 2016 already reached 23 clinics and lying-ins.
On the other hand, DOH Assistant Secretary Maria Francia Laxamana highlighted the efforts of the department in taking steps to further improve the health and well-being of Filipinos, especially the poorest of the poor. She said the DOH is looking into improving health-emergency management within clinics and lying-ins.
This was echoed by Unilab.
“Sharing of values and resources are two components that make our public-private partnership with Quezon City work. We are optimistic that our initiative in setting the standards for health services delivery will prove that strict compliance to public health services delivery can be done,” said Claire Papa, Head for External Affairs and Social Partnerships of Unilab.
Meanwhile, the Quezon City HIV Testing Department is implementing the same-day result testing so patients would be able to act on their diagnosis right away. Since 1984, the city diagnosed over 3,496 HIV and AIDS patients. For January to June of 2016 alone, Quezon City detected 427 HIV-positive patients, but 56.64 percent of their patients are from neighboring cities.
Dr. Alejandrino Perez presented updates on PhilHealth’s pregnancy packages, emphasizing the need for affordable and accessible financing products to lessen maternal deaths in the country.
Focusing on the general health of the child is the Batang 1000 Program, the joint project between the Quezon City Health Department (QCHD) and UNILAB which aims to reduce the prevalence of stunting in children across the city.