December 23


“Let’s go!”

I was relieved and happy the survey design was completed and now excited to get going!

I arrived at the LVPO office at 7am to do some last minute prep. I’d be accompanying the team in the field who were conducting a series of Kabalikat Orientation and Usapang Buntis (Safe Motherhood) sessions. Once all the gear was packed up and ready, we responded to Jack’s familiar command “let’s go!” and set off to our first stop, Barangay 176 Health Center. This was the first one I visited in Milk Letting(link) and was impressed seeing midwife Sophie Angeles in action.



Explaining the birth plan


Practicing deep breathing exercises

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In the meantime, data collection begins with Kit, Jeff and Jack (aka The Dream Team) with pregnant women and husbands:


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Wrapping up the session with a final few words from Jeff


Baby starter kits are given to the attendees


Who were delighted!

From here we headed to Barangay 161 for the male version of this session, joined by a number of Kabalikat. Interest and participation was excellent and very good humoured. It gave men the chance to ask questions and clarify myths such as why they don’t put cloth around the umbilical cord when it’s cut ,as they are previously used to doing.

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Barangay police and dangerous assassins working side by side 🙂


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After the session, more data collection from a husband of a pregnant women and Kabalikat volunteers…

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The next day we arrived at Barangay 14 Health Center to interview more pregnant women, health workers and BHW’s.

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Everyone is playing close attention…


Jack interviewing adolescent mum to be


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It’s thirsty work!


Time to brave the traffic to Barangay 187 before the heavens open…ah, not quite!

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This time we were able to capture feedback from post natal women (within 3 months of giving birth) as well as the midwife and BHW’s

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Urban data collection was now complete! Time to go rural.

I was hoping to go to Mindanao once more and was looking forward to being with the team again but security travel restrictions meant I had to abort this visit. The run up to the elections had increased the risk significantly since my last trip, so while disappointing, it was completely understandable. Desiree and Mae were able to collect data in the GSK project site of Lambayong in Sultan Kuradat and did a spectacular job on my behalf. This means we will have a complete data set to present next year and I am truly grateful to them for their efforts 🙂

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Now all the data is in, I can begin analysis and prepare the results. I hope to present my findings to the Dept. Of Health and City Health Department in Caloocan City next year as well as PDQ (Program Development and Quality) here at Save.

It’s hard to believe I’m nearly at the end of my assignment; the last few months have sped by. I have seen and learnt so much more than I can tell you through these blogs, but I hope they provide an essence of the amazing work that goes on to continually improve lives here. I have been honoured to be part of it.

Wishing you all a very happy and restful Christmas and New Year….Speak soon, Alli 🙂