Press Release
April 29, 2011


Senator Edgardo J. Angara supports a Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization (WHO) program aimed at the reduction of infant mortality rates in the country, bringing the program to his hometown Baler.

The Essential Intra-partum and Newborn Care (EINC) was conceptualized when the WHO sought to develop a low cost, technology based medicine plan to address the issue of infant mortality in the country.

"We are happy that the EINC team will be bringing the program to Baler, for the benefit of nursing practitioners in the province," said Angara.

EINC will convene an orientation workshop in Baler, Aurora from May 4-5.

"The Philippines is one of 42 countries, globally, that accounts for over 90% of under five year old childhood deaths. 82,000 Filipino children die each year. Peering closer, our newborn deaths account for 45% of this staggering statistic," said Dr. Maria Asuncion Silvestre, Convener of the EINC Scale-Up Team of the WHO/DOH.

The United Nations (UN) has since funded a program that will train personnel in EINC, the personnel have formed teams that conduct training, technical support, and clinical monitoring in a chosen 12 government hospitals.

The training program marks the first time the training program has reached a provincial audience "to get our grassroots maternal and newborn care health workers up to date with this international standard of care," said Dr. Silvestre.

Angara noted that the EINC team agreed to conduct the Baler workshop after a local nurse made an appeal for aid on the EINC facebook page.

In 2000, the Philippines committed to the UN Millennium Declaration, targeting reduction of poverty, hunger and ill health in the country, including reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality.

According to the DOH, the Philippines is currently "on track" to reach its Millennium Development Goal #4 target of reducing under-five mortality.

However, some 40,000 Filipino newborns still die every year. Half of these newborns die in the first two days of life."

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