Let’s talk about maternal health!

Reducing maternal mortality was one of the millennium development goals which the Philippines was not able to meet.  This, despite all the government funds allotted for programs and intervention.  In our own local professional society, more than 90% of maternal deaths occur in the overcrowded congested government hospital, and many of the patients present too late to prevent death.

The Department of Health (DOH) has included several interventions in the Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN) program and Safe Motherhood Program, including the Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care (EINC, also known as Unang Yakap or First Embrace), Lactation Management trainings (LMET), Basic Emergency Obstetric and Neonatal Care (BEmONC) among other programs. We wonder if any of these efforts are making a dent in improving maternal care. Health policy groups have studied ten years of Philippine health service delivery and have shown very minimal change in health statistics across all programs.

During a regional conference on research and innovation, we came across the RxBox which contains a blood pressure apparatus, a fetal monitor, maternal tocometer and other functions all rolled into one. This is expected to empower healthcare workers in hard to reach places with the diagnostic abilities of higher levels of care, which complements telemedicine. How has this been employed in our communities?

In this era of research, innovation, information communication technology and social media, what other technologies are available which we have not yet maximized to reduce maternal deaths and improve maternal health in your area?

Join me tonight Saturday (September 02, 2017) at 9PM MLA time and 9AM EST on #HealthXPH tweetchat to discuss the use of technology in improving maternal care.

1. What are the challenges to maternal health in your area?
2. What technologies are available to improve maternal health?
3. What is the role of social media in improving maternal health?