MANILA — Worried that more Filipinos are opting to give birth at home during the coronavirus pandemic, the Department of Health on Friday asked local government units to assist in transporting pregnant women to and from the hospital.
“Para naman po sa ating mga barangay siguraduhing may sasakyan ang mga manganganak papunta sa birthing clinic or ospital,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a televised briefing. “Gayon din po ang bagong panganak at bagong silang na sanggol pauwi sa bahay.”
(Barangay officials should make sure that there are vehicles that can bring those who need to give birth to birthing clinics or hospitals. Also for those who just gave birth and on their way home.)
She said local government units should also make sure that birthing clinics and maternity wards of hospitals remain open.
“Maliban sa kawalan ng masakyan papunta sa ating mga health facilities, mas nakakaalarma na marami ang nangangamba o natatakot na baka sila ay mahawa ng COVID-19 kung sila ay pupunta sa isang health facility para magpa-prenatal check-up o para manganak,” Vergeire said.
(Besides not having transportation to go to health facilities, it is more alarming that many are afraid to be infected with COVID-19 if they go to health facilities to have their pre-natal check-up or to give birth.
“Lubos pong naalarma ang kagawaran na dahil dito maaaring dumami ang hindi nakakapagpacheck up at pinipiling manganak na lang sa kanilang mga tahanan,” she added.
(We are truly alarmed that because of this, many won’t undergo check-ups or would just choose to give birth at home.)
Vergeire said giving birth at home is not ideal and that women should go to a birthing clinic or a hospital instead.
“Tinitiyak ng kagawaran na ang lahat ng health facilities ay may sapat na infection prevention and control measures,” she assured the public.
(The Department is ensuring that all health facilities have adequate infection prevention and control measures.)
Vergeire said a study by the United Nations Population Fund showed that if health facilities dwindle by 10%, the number of pregnant women who die because of complications could rise to 7 to 10 instead of just the average 6 to 7 a day.
She asked families to carefully plan how they can arrange for their check-ups during the community quarantine.