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The “Ready to Parent” app, a mobile community application for first-time parents, was launched Tuesday by the Department of Health (DOH) in a bid to save mothers, as more than 10 die every day.
“The Department of Health is finding ways how to engage the private sector, especially how to improve the health seeking behavior of mothers out there. Because in 2010, 13 mothers died during their pregnancy or childbirth and nothing has changed much. We want to lower these down to less than four women who actually die everyday,” Health Spokesperson Eric Tayag said during launch in Makati City.
It was disclosed that there are at least three factors that can be tied to the obstacles concerning maternal health in the country — delay in reaching appropriate channels, delay in providing proper maternal health tools, and delay in seeking medical help
“Ang napakahirap nito, iyong health seeking behavior nila. Iyon ang unang delay, ‘pag hindi nila alam na may kumplikasyon iyong kanilang pagbubuntis e akala nila okay lang iyong pakiramdam nila,” the spokesperson stressed.
Together with the University of the Philippines-National Institutes of Health and the app creator FWD Life Philippines, the DOH is helping first-time parents prepare for the wide range of health and financial risks tied to pregnancy.
“First-time parents, most especially, need to have access to or can communicate with third parties that can provide them with correct information, which will lessen their anxiety and improve their disposition about pregnancy,” Tayag noted.
The three key features of the app are chat, articles and journal.
“You can chat with other mothers, air your concern, share your stories. You can download articles or at least read them the latest on maternal health…. May journal ka where you can write your own story, what happening to you,” Tayag noted.
The official further stated that, in his opinion, digital resources are most effective when used to improve the health-seeking behavior of expectant moms.
“Safer births begin with every parent, and technology can be used to supplement consultations with doctors and visits to their community health centers. Hopefully, parents who will be using the mobile app can also help build a more well-informed community of expectant mothers by sharing the information they access online,” he said.
Moreover, FWD Digital Channel Head Alexander Sarmiento said the app has a very local context since it was created by Filipinos.
“[It was] made by Filipino, designed by Filipino, very local in context from the articles to the community chats. It’s designed for local Filipinos. [It is] predominantly in English at the moment but we’re exploring to make it more accessible. As we get feedback from users it will evolve, give better experience to users,” he noted.
By Charina Clarisse L. Echaluce
News Source: Manila Bulletin