Midwives can help reduce maternal deaths, says Rep. Janette L. Garin

Rep. Janette L. Garin of the 1st District of Iloilo calls on the immediate passage of House Bill 2831 titled, “An Act Expanding the Scope of the Practice of Midwifery, Amending for the Purpose RA 7392, otherwise known as the Philippine Midwifery Act of 1992” to help address the alarming increase of maternal deaths as recently reported by the Department of Health (DOH).

The bill which aims to strengthen and expand the scope of the practice of midwifery in the Philippines will eventually help in the reduction of maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality.

There are present limitations on duties and functions of midwives to fully address the leading causes of maternal and newborn deaths, explains Rep. Garin, author of HB 2831 who is also a medical practitioner. She said that the solution to these limitations is a law that will support and empower midwives to save the lives of mothers and newborns, who are entitled to their rights to life, and the highest attainable standard to health.

“Once enacted into law, midwives can better respond to emergency situations through administration of life-saving drugs, especially in hard-to-reach areas whose lives of mothers and newborns are at stake in the absence of doctors or referral facilities,” said Rep. Garin.

However, Rep. Garin also stressed the need to pass the highly-clamored Reproductive Health (RH) bill that will ensure comprehensive RH and Family Planning (FP) education and services, needed by women, especially poor and marginalized women, who wants to plan their families and space their children. “RH and FP education and services are basic components needed to help address the increasing maternal deaths,” she emphasized.

“Further, the approval of both the RH bill and the Amendment of Midwifery Act of 1992 will help attain the targets of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to which the Philippines is a signatory, which aims to accelerate improvements to reduce under-five children and maternal deaths all over the world by 2015,” Rep. Garin ended

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