year, around 200 women attended the Safe Motherhood Caravan
in Barangay Dulao, Bago City organized by PBSP with
Intellicare and the Bago City Government.
Teen moms learn
life-saving skills through PBSP’s Safe Motherhood Caravans
November 21, 2018
CEBU CITY –
Rietchelyn Jalea was 18 years old when she had her first child. She
was a former restaurant employee in Siquijor when she met her
partner, who decided that they leave for his hometown in Bago City,
Negros Occidental and build a home there instead.
Soon after, she got
pregnant and since she was too young to handle the rigors of
motherhood, she had a difficult time balancing her roles as mother
and wife. Their elopement also made her family unprepared for sudden
expenses needed for a new family.
“The worst experience was
when my baby got sick. It made me realize how hard it is to take
care of a child. I didn’t know what to do because I am a young
mother and no one is there to guide me,” she said.
Jalea is one of the 13,000
women in the country who received life-saving maternal and child
care information services through PBSP’s Safe Motherhood Caravans
(SMC). PBSP has been organizing annual caravans since 2013, where
women attend sessions on pre-natal and post-natal care, responsible
parenthood, self-care and nutrition, exclusive breastfeeding, and
“I am really thankful that
I was able to attend the Safe Motherhood Caravan because I learned a
lot about family planning. After the activity, I decided to get an
implant so that I wouldn’t get pregnant yet. I still want to take
better care of my child,” Jalea said.
Valuable Information for
In the Visayas, a total of
10 caravans were held this year in the cities of Cebu, Bacolod, Bago,
Himamaylan, and Kabankalan, which reportedly have the most number of
PBSP has organized SMCs in
these areas since 2014 with help from its corporate donors and local
government health partners.
With the help of the
annual caravans, the contraceptive prevalence rates in Himamaylan
and Bago cities have collectively increased from 44.86% in 2014 to
47.41% in 2016. Infant deaths have likewise dropped from 14 in 2014
to 2 in 2016.
is the percentage of women who are currently using, or whose sexual
partner is currently using, at least one method of contraception.
“The good thing about the
Safe Motherhood Caravan is that it really teaches women and mothers
how to properly plan for a family and provide easy access to
services after every session. And results show: in Barangay Dulao,
for example, they used to have the most number of teenage
pregnancies within Bago City. But with the Safe Motherhood Caravan,
they are now ranked eighth this year,” Bago City Health Office Nurse
Angie Licańel said.
In collaboration with the
local health units, participants also receive free prenatal
consultations, application of implants, vitamins for their children,
HIV testing, and other medical services.
“My son is now a year old
and my husband and I plan to finish building our own home first
before having another child. I also do not want to experience again
the difficulties in my previous pregnancy and child-rearing. I am
truly thankful for the SMC for teaching us how to be a better
mother,” Jalea added.
Business in Health
PBSP’s flagship program on
health focuses on maternal and child health, which is anchored on
the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3, which is to
ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.
The Philippines failed to
reach the Millennium Development Goal of reducing its maternal
mortality rate from 209 to 52.2 per 100,000 live births. The
Department of Health has identified at least three contributing
factors to the non-achievement: the delay in reaching appropriate
centers, delay in providing health, and delay in seeking medical
The annual sessions aim to
reduce maternal and infant mortality in the country by educating
women about safe motherhood practices; promoting the utilization of
life-saving maternal, newborn, and child health services; and learn
various strategies on responsible parenthood.
This year, the PBSP’s SMC
is being held in partnership with Intellicare and Republic Cement