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BioMed Research International
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 6264249, 9 pages
Research Article

Turning Disaster into an Opportunity for Quality Improvement in Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care Services in the Philippines: Pre- to Posttraining Assessments

1UNICEF Philippines, 1200 Makati, Philippines
2Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina, Inc. (Health of Mother and Child), 1103 Quezon City, Philippines
3Remedios T. Romualdez Medical Foundation (RTRMF), College of Medicine, 6500 Tacloban, Philippines
4Department of Health Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, 1003 Manila, Philippines
5Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medical University of Graz, 8010 Graz, Austria
6Department of Health Regional Health Office 8 (Eastern Visayas), Palo, 6501 Leyte, Philippines
7Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes Inc., 1104 Quezon City, Philippines

Received 30 October 2015; Revised 9 March 2016; Accepted 20 April 2016

Academic Editor: Ying-Ru Lo

Copyright © 2016 M. S. Castillo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. On 8 November 2013, supertyphoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, severely disrupting health service delivery. Reestablishment of essential services for birthing mothers and their newborns became high priority. Methodology. Following a baseline assessment, an Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care (EINC) training package was implemented and posttraining assessments (1 and 3 months after training) were undertaken. Results. Baseline assessments ( facilities) revealed gaps in provider’s skill and shortage of life-saving commodities. Facilities lacked newborn bags/masks (9%), towels (6%), and magnesium sulfate (39%). Service providers lacked skills in partograph use (54%), antenatal steroid (44%) use, and breastfeeding initiation (50%). At 3 months after training ( facilities), dramatic increases in correct partograph use (to 92%), antenatal steroid use (to 98%), breastfeeding initiation (to 86%), kangaroo mother care (to 94%), availability of magnesium sulfate (to 94%), and bag/masks (to 88%) were documented. Gaps persisted for skills in assisted vaginal delivery and removal of placental fragments. Conclusion. Health services were severely disrupted after supertyphoon Haiyan. Our study demonstrates that essential birthing services and quality improvements to strengthen local health systems can be restored in a timely manner even in immediate postdisaster settings.