safemotherhoodweek201625-27 May 2016, Butuan City -- DOH Caraga, as a contribution to the Philippines’ commitment to the United Nation millennium declaration of reducing poverty and hunger, celebrated the Safe Motherhood Week with a 3-day activity in Luciana Convention Center, Butuan City. A series of informative lectures on health and nutrition of mother and baby during pregnancy and after delivery, breastfeeding, immunization and family planning was conducted. Free ultrasound was also provided among pregnant mothers along with services on safe family planning and counselling during the 3-day activity.

Director Jose R. Llacuna Jr, the DOH Regional Director and Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator (RNPC) of NNC Caraga gave an inspirational message to an estimated 150 pregnant mothers to keep themselves and their babies healthy and well nourished. He gave emphasis on the importance of the first 1000 days of life of a child. Together with MNCHN Program Coordinator Dr. Grace Lim, DoH EPI Nurse Coordinator Jasmin Sarce and Nurse Arlys Demata, Director Llacuna also gave Buntis Kits to our pregnant mothers.

With pregnancy and child birth as among the leading causes of death, disease and disability in ‪women of reproductive age in developing countries, DOH is faced with the following challenges: to champion the cause of women and children towards achieving MDGs 4 (reduce child mortality), 5 (improve maternal health) and 6 (combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases).

To address this, the government, through DOH, provides free health services, specifically intended to ensure good health and nutritional status of pregnant mothers and infants such as prenatal check-up, immunization and monitoring of nutrition status of 0-71 months old children, among others. Pregnant and lactating mothers can avail of these free services from the nearest health centers.