Women’s group Gabriela this week called on President Ferdinand Marcos to look into the reported increase in the incidents of death of mothers and babies in recent years.
The Philippine Statistics Authority reported a 90.81 percent increase of maternal deaths from 2021 to 2022. The agency noted an increase of obstetric deaths from 425 in the first six months of 2021 to 468 in 2022.
Direct obstetric deaths or direct maternal death are those resulting from obstetric complications and from interventions, removals and improper treatment, according to the World Health Organization.
Gabriela said majority of women cannot afford the prevention of these deaths “because of privatized health services in the country.”
The women’s group called on the Marcos administration “to urgently provide solutions” to the accelerating number of maternal deaths.
“Even with the enactment of the Universal Health Care Law that supposedly strengthened our public health system, poor families still cannot afford the expensive health care in the Philippines,” said Clarice Palce, secretary general of Gabriela.
“This was very evident in the height of COVID-19 cases among Filipinos,” she added.
Gabriela called for a higher budget allocation for public health services and for concrete plans on the worsening health situation in the country.
“As long as the government allows and promotes privatization of social services, the mortality rate among women and children will surely increase,” said the group.