Tomochika Uyama, Minister for Economic Affairs, Embassy of Japan will attend the turnover ceremony of “ The Project for Construction of Birthing Facility in the Municipality of Tanauan, Leyte ,” on 27 April 2010. Tanauan Municipal Mayor Roque Andrafe Tiu and JICA Senior Representative Masafumi Nagaishi will also witness the turnover. The p roject, amounting to US$ 62, 135 (approximately 3 Million Pesos ), is funded through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).
The Department of Health has promoted delivery in hospitals or health centers with well-equipped birthing facilities in order to decrease the infant mortality rate and the maternal mortality rate. Pregnant women cannot avoid various risks when they deliver at their homes without proper medical kits and professional doctors and nurses. Especially in case of emergency, it is difficult to survive at home without necessary medical care.
In the Municipality of Tanauan, community health workers have actively encouraged pregnant women to deliver in hospitals or health centers with birthing facilities, but only 40 percent of them deliver in hospitals or health centers while remaining 60 percent choose to deliver at their homes. The main reason for the high rate of home-based delivery is rack of birthing facility in the health center in the Municipality of Tanauan. Many people cannot afford travel expenses to the provincial hospital that has the birthing facility for people in Tanauan. They cannot afford the expenses for delivery in the hospital as well.
Under these circumstances, the Municipality of Tanauan sought assistance from the Embassy of Japan to expand their health center and facilitate a birthing facility inside. With the grant assistance, medical equipment for the facility will also be purchased. The project will upgrade the capacity of the health center to provide appropriate and accessible medical services for pregnant women in Tanauan.
The GGP was launched in the Philippines in 1989 for the purpose of reducing poverty and helping various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of March 2010, 434 grassroots projects funded by GGP – ranging from roughly 1 to 4 million pesos – have been implemented by NGOs, local government units and other non-profit organizations. The total grant for these projects so far amounts to US$18,982,775.