ARMM distributes medicines and birthing equipment to 19 barangays
COTABATO CITY (03 December 2014) – The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), through its Health, Education, Livelihood, Peace and Governance and Synergy (HELPS) program, distributed on Tuesday supplies of medicines and birthing equipment to 19 barangays in the provinces of Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao.
Lawyer Laisa Alamia, ARMM executive secretary, said the medical supplies will be provided to the birthing clinics or health facilities located in outlying barangays in the region to help “decrease maternal and infant deaths.”
ARMM HELPS is the region’s banner program that aims to bring a convergence of government services closer to constituents through the delivery of integrated and enhanced interventions in identified barangays.
Among the 9 recipients in Maguindanao is the highland community of Barangay Tubak in Ampatuan town. Its household population of 516, composed mainly of the Dulangan-Manobo tribe, is about four hours away from the nearest health facility.
Barangay Captain Mario Kadingilan said it is the first time in the 50-year history of their barangay to receive government projects being provided by ARMM HELPS.
He said the health facility, supplies and equipment given by ARMM mean they no longer have to travel for hours to seek medical attention.
Anwar Upahm, ARMM HELPS project manager, said 10 other barangays in Lanao del Sur also received similar medical supplies and the same will be distributed to recipient communities in the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Taw-Tawi.
He said the health component package of ARMM HELPS to the 53 barangays across the region includes construction of health or birthing facilities and the provision of medical supplies and equipment.
Based on the National Demographic Health Survey and the Field Health Services Information System, maternal mortality rate in ARMM in 2013 was at 66 per 100,000 live births, far lower than the national rate of 152 per 100,000 live births. (Bureau of Public Information)