Print Version    Email to Friend
Reproductive health misses top three on the killer list

MANILA (Agencies) : In listing the three most critical health concerns in The Philippines, the health secretary, Enrique Ona, named poor air quality, alcohol and drug addiction as the three big killers.

Despite persistent claims being made in the congress that the Reproductive Health Bill is the highest priority, it failed to make the finals.

Commenting on Ona’s remarks, which were made at a meeting of the World Health Organisation-Western Pacific Region Office, Monsignor Juanito Figura, from the bishops’ conference, said, “This is very interesting especially with regards the issue of the reproductive health bill, because it has been again and again stated and claimed by the pro-reproductive health legislators and supporters that birth-related and reproductive health-related concerns or health of women related to pregnancy and giving birth are top priority in our country.”

The secretary general of the conference added that the health secretary’s statement indicates that the claims supporters of the health bill are making are unfounded.

“Although we are aware that there are victims of poor maternal health… and of problematic child-bearing… they are not that many,” Monsignor Figura commented.

“Now, we are not in any way saying that we should forget, because they are less in number, but if we are to base our giving of priority to more cases, we are to give priority to cases related to health problems related to alcohol, trauma and polluted air and other concerns of sanitation,” he continued.

Monsignor Figura also expressed the hope that Ona’s statements at the four-day meeting attended by health ministers and experts from the Western Pacific region would put an end to the spin doctors’ claims and the invention of unfounded data and statistics, because they only confuse our people.

“Now we’re getting it from the secretary of health himself that we should give attention to these other three concerns,” he stressed.