Makati, October 17, 2018 — The United States of America and the Philippine government celebrated progress toward improving the health of Filipino women, infants, and children at a completion ceremony of three projects of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), valued at Php4 billion.
The U.S. government, through USAID, has partnered with the Philippine Department of Health (DOH) to expand quality health care for mothers and newborns; drive down teenage pregnancies; and support couples to achieve their desired family size, in alignment with Ambisyon Natin 2040 for a healthier and more prosperous Philippines.
“The U.S. government invests in the health of mothers and children, first, because we care deeply about their lives and well-being; and additionally, because healthy families are crucial to advancing and sustaining the Philippines’ development,” said U.S. Ambassador Sung Kim at the completion ceremony.
Nearly half a million Filipino adolescents between the age of 15 to 19 are already mothers. Early childbearing poses several health risks for young women and their children, and can hinder youth from maximizing their full economic potential. Without access to family planning and maternal care, 13 Filipino mothers die every day from pregnancy-related complications.
Through the six-year projects, USAID and its partners expanded access to family planning, neonatal, and child health services for over 4 million women and children. In addition, USAID and the DOH trained thousands of health workers to provide quality health services for mothers, newborns, and children, with a focus on low-income, marginalized families. In the past five years, deaths of women in childbirth declined by 12 percent, and deaths of children under five years of age declined by 13 percent.
These projects: LuzonHealth, VisayasHealth and MindanaoHealth, were implemented respectively in partnership with RTI International, EngenderHealth and Jhpiego (a Johns Hopkins University affiliate)/RTI International.
Over the past six years, USAID has provided over Php6 billion in financial and technical assistance to support DOH’s family planning and maternal and child health programs.
“The Department of Health commends development partners, like USAID, in supporting our goal to pave the way towards quality health for all, especially the underprivileged,” said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. “This is in line with our goal for better health outcomes through the Fourmula One for Health Plus strategy where we believe that our success can only be measured by the well-being of our fellow Filipinos and how well the health system responds to their needs. We really need to invest more collective effort for a healthier nation.”