Written by Romulo Nieva, Jr.
NCR-South Luzon Cluster, Batch E4
Reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health are two of the health-related Millennium development Goals set by the United Nations and its member states. Despite the presence of this international framework, child and maternal mortality continues to be a pressing global phenomenon. This is especially true in the Philippines where several efforts have been mobilized to address such public health issue. One significant response is the Buntis Congress organized by ABS-CBN’s DZMM, in partnership with the Department of Health (DOH), National Nutrition Council, Midwives Foundation of the Philippines, POPCOM and Philhealth. This annual event, currently in its 12th year, aims to help nurture and enrich future moms with knowledge that they need for motherhood and child care.
The Volunteer Youth Leaders for Health-Philippines NCR-South Luzon Cluster joined the event last June 7, 2014 at the Megatrade Hall, SM Megamall, Metro Manila in coordination with Ms. Beth Dumaran, Coordinator for the Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health, and Nutrition (MCCHN) Unit of DOH, and Ms. Hermes Pascua, Newborn Screening Nurse Coordinator under the Center for Health and Development-NCR (DOH Regional Office).
The event ran through a series of lectures on maternal health and nutrition and child care followed by a testimony by DZMM anchor Niña Corpuz about her personal experience as a mother. Talks on perinatal health were also provided by the DOH representative. Additionally, free pre-natal check-up and ultrasound were provided by the organizers to around 1000 pregnant women who attended the event.
Members of VYLH-Philippines gave out NBS pens provided by Newborn Screening Center – NIH. Brochures on Folic Acid Supplementation and Newborn Screening were also distributed. Volunteers were also able to administer brief talks about the organization’s advocacies during distribution.
Participants were able to take home baby bags and other freebies. Sponsors of the event also raffled away baby garments, pillow sets, baby supplies, and recreation showcases.