by Geri Matthew Carretero

Legazpi City, Philippines – Sorsogon Province, through the Sorsogon Provincial Health Office in partnership with Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, with support from the MSD for Mothers Global Grant Program, hosted a Dissemination Forum titled “Breaking Barriers: Achievements and Collaborations in UHC towards Responsive and Quality Maternal and Newborn Health Service Delivery in Sorsogon Province” at the Pepperland Hotel in Legazpi City on February 8, 2024.

Participants gather at the Pepperland Hotel for the Dissemination Forum Program. Photo by Geri Matthew Carretero.

This forum marks the culmination of a dedicated three-year partnership committed to ensuring universal access to high-quality maternal and newborn care in the province. It highlights the positive outcomes and impact on reducing morbidity and mortality rates for both mothers and newborns.

Participants watch the story of Nanay Nancy during the Dissemination Forum. Photo by Geri Matthew Carretero.

A notable highlight was the presentation of the video documentary “The Story of Nanay Nancy: A Mother’s Journey to Responsive Maternal and Newborn Care in a Near Missed Case.” This emotional narrative depicted the resilience of a mother from Matnog who triumphed over childbirth challenges, including an inverted uterus, thanks to an effective management and referral process present in BIMS (Bulan, Irosin, Matnog, and Sta. Magdalena Interlocal Health Zones) and Sorsogon Provincial Hospital.

Dr. Maita Urbi-Bobis delivers an inspiring keynote address. Photo by Geri Matthew Carretero.

Dr. Maita Urbi-Bobis, Medical Officer IV and Family Health Cluster Head at DOH Bicol-CHD delivered an inspiring address on “Advancing Universal Health Care for Excellence in Maternal and Newborn Health Care Services.” Emphasizing the importance of joint endeavors, Dr. Urbis-Bobis stated, “The forum represents a pivotal moment in our journey toward achieving universal access to quality maternal and newborn care in Sorsogon Province. It is a testament to the power of collaboration, emphasizing the need for collective work in advancing universal health care for excellence in maternal and newborn health services.”

Celebrating this noteworthy achievement, Sorsogon Province underscores its dedication to enhancing maternal and newborn healthcare, emphasizing the impactful role of collaboration in building a stronger and more resilient community.

Dr. Maria Priscilla Casals-Fajardo, PHO I and Head of Family Health Cluster at Sorsogon Provincial Health Office, presented the Maternal and Child Health Profile of the Province of Sorsogon. Her insightful presentation shed light on the progress made and the challenges faced in the pursuit of improved maternal and child health. “As we share the maternal and child health profile of Sorsogon, we reflect on the progress made and the challenges ahead. This forum provides an invaluable platform for learning and reinforces our commitment to improving the well-being of mothers and children in our community,” she remarked.

The event brought together representatives from Sorsogon Provincial Hospital, various district hospitals, Rural Health Units located in various municipalities, partner CSOs, and DOH Region V, fostering a platform for shared learning and future partnerships.

Expressing gratitude for the collaboration, Dr. Dorothea Farah Dorion-Jarabo, OB-Gynecologist Specialist, and Private Health Practitioner at Metro Health Hospital shared her perspective as a project partner, stating, “It is heartening to witness the positive impact on the community. Sorsogon Province excels as a model site for advancing Universal Health Coverage (UHC), especially in maternal health. The core principle is to ensure pregnant and lactating women have unimpeded access to top-tier healthcare services, free from financial barriers. ”

Dr. Ingrid Magnata talks about the three-year journey towards enhancing maternal and newborn care in Sorsogon Province. Photo by Geri Matthew Carretero.

“As we celebrate the victories of this three-year journey towards enhancing maternal and newborn care in Sorsogon Province, Jhpiego is proud to have been a part of this shared effort. We commend the dedication and passion of the local health professionals, and we look forward to the continued progress in maternal health for the well-being of communities,” added Dr. Ingrid Magnata, Country Program Manager of Jhpiego Philippines.

About Jhpiego:

Jhpiego is a nonprofit global leader in creating and delivering transformative healthcare solutions for women and families worldwide.

As an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, Jhpiego has provided support in designing and implementing integrated, high-quality public health interventions for over five decades.

Jhpiego also empowers health workers with effective and low-cost solutions, making a significant impact on maternal and newborn health and strengthening the overall healthcare system.


Link to the video: Story of Nanay Nancy: A Mother’s Journey to Responsive Maternal and Newborn Care: