Here in the Philippines, maternal health is a pressing concern that requires adequate attention. Our country continues to face challenges in providing adequate healthcare to expectant mothers and their children despite the significant progress in the recent years.
One of the most alarming indicators of maternal health concerns in the Philippines is the high maternal mortality ratio (MMR). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Philippines reported an MMR of 114 deaths per 100,000 live births in 2017. This figure is unacceptably high, especially compared to other countries in the region.
Most of the deaths are preventable, often resulting from complications during pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum.
The Carmen Valley Experience
Disturbed by this reality, the Rotaract Club of Carmen Valley (RAC-CV) has partnered with Modern Nanays of Mindanao and Oro Integrated Cooperative to launch a project the “Nanay Agapay: Kalinga sa Bagong Nanay” (“Mother’s Care: Nurturing New Mothers”).
The first leg of this project catered 50 new mothers from Barangay Lumbia, a barangay located south of Cagayan de Oro City bordering the province of Bukidnon on December 12, 2020.
This groundbreaking project aims to capacitate young and new breeds of mothers by taking part in fun lectures and impactful demonstrations relating to breastfeeding, childcare, and usage of maternal kits.
Apart from “Nanay Agapay, Kalinga sa Bagong Nanay” Project, the Rotaract Club of Carmen Valley also tied up with Modern Nanays of Mindanao to “Hakab Na Mindanao 2021” last August 8, Monday.
It was the largest online event of its kind gathering 367 mothers from different parts of Mindanao, along with their babies. The highlight of the event was the one-minute simultaneous latch to show their support to Breastfeeding Awareness Month as it adapts the theme, “Tulong-tulong sa Pagpapasuso sa First 1000 Days.”
Stressing the need to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding especially during this pandemic, Rotaract Club of Carmen Valley President Ladylene Almanzor underscores the pivotal role that the Carmen Valley Rotaractors portray in helping disseminate relevant knowledge and information relevant to breastfeeding.
“Participation signifies awareness and our organization’s participation means that our organization can be an instrument to relay proper information about breastfeeding to the society,” she said.
“A baby is God’s opinion that life should go on.”
This is how American writer Carl Sandburg pleasantly metaphorizes our children as bearers of hope. Especially in these trying times, they are a stark reminder to us that life is still worth living and forging on regardless of how challenging it could be.
Thanks to all our valiant mothers out there, their unconditional love and care paved the way for our young to live, grow, and become the bearers of hope that they ought to be.
Indeed, our mothers have become beacons of hope themselves and are important actors in creating hope for this world. Hence, it is imperative that we pay them homage and address the prevalent issues that concern them.
As Rotaract and Rotary clubs across the globe embraces another Rotary year adapting the theme – “Create Hope in the World”, it is befitting that we, Rotaractors, must act in ensuring the well-being of our mothers and their child.