by Paula Nicole A. Zaldivar
BAY, LAGUNA – Pregnant women of Brgys. San Agustin, San Nicholas, Puypuy, and Paciano are all encouraged to go to their respective Barangay Health Center (BHC) to avail the free pre-natal health services for them.
According to Amor Macandile, the midwife for Brgy. San Agustin and San Nicholas, the BHC offers free injection of tetanus toxoid vaccine. Tetanus toxoid is given to expecting mothers during their fifth month of pregnancy to protect the mother and child from complications caused by tetanus.
Aside from tetanus toxoid vaccine, the BHC also distributes ferrous sulfate in tablet form. The ferrous sulfate tablet is given to mothers during their fourth month of pregnancy and is taken until two months after giving birth for mothers to avoid iron deficiency anemia.
On the other hand, Gloria Larios, the midwife for Brgy. Paciano and Puypuy mentioned that they also give Vitamin A to the mothers who just gave birth. It is given to the mothers a month after their delivery to improve the vitamin A content of their breast milk. Vitamin A is essential for the functioning of immune system and proper growth of the baby.
Macandile reiterated the importance of getting these services because they want to avoid complications for the mother and the child as well. Since it is free, she said that there is no harm in going to their respective health centers to have their prenatal checkup and have the said health services.
Another health issue that the Barangay Health Centers try to address is when pregnant women give birth in their own homes or resorting to “hilot”. Larios said that they really try to convince mothers to have their delivery in hospitals or at least in a lying-in clinic. This will avoid the mothers from complications that can happen during delivery. Pregnant women with diabetes, hypertension and high blood are especially in high risk, Larios said.
Despite that, Larios commented that there were improvements in terms of mother’s participation Brgy. Puypuy. Most of the pregnant women are now going to the health center to have their weekly checkup. Thanks to the barangay health worker who monitors and convinces the mothers to go to the center, Larios added.
Larios, being a midwife since 1990, said that she have witnessed the benefits that these projects have given to their people. She is thankful that today, more medicine and immunizations can be offered by the health center.
The schedule of the prenatal checkup is every Monday while the immunization of babies is held every Wednesday at the Barangay Health Centers.