THE Department of Health-Regional Office VI (DOH-RO VI) launched its pioneering advocacy campaign dubbed “Meet the Unmet” on March 29, 2016 at the University of the Philippines-Visayas. The Campaign seeks to harmonize the efforts of various government and non-government organizations in the region towards closing the gaps on health with particular focus on maternal health.

Based on DOH data, attaining the Millennium Development Goal’s target to improve maternal health remains a challenge. Records show that more than 10 mothers die everyday due to pregnancy and delivery-related reasons thus, resulting to around 30 children being left motherless everyday.

In Region VI, 114 mothers died in 2014. This translated to a Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) of 90 maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths, higher than the MDG target of 50 maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths.

The region’s contraceptive prevalence rate also needs to be improved to attain the target of 65%.

To address these gaps, the DOH-RO VI initiated the Meet the Unmet Campaign as a strategy to help improve health outcomes with the support of the different government and non-government organizations.

Dr. Marlyn W. Convocar, DOH-RO VI Regional Director, led the Campaign launching which kicked off with a motorcade along Iloilo City’s major thoroughfares and a program orientation at the UPV Auditorium.

Direct health services, family planning education and counseling as well as a voluntary HIV testing were provided for free to the mothers who attended the activity.

The Campaign was made in partnership with the Commission on Population, Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP), Department of Education (DepEd), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), PhilHealth, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).