January 20

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Last day!

The last few weeks of my assignment went in a flash. The survey data was analysed and meetings in place ready to present the findings. The heat is on.

My first presentation was to the City Health Department in Caloocan City. The dreaded microphone was back…..

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but no microphobia this time.

but no microphobia this time.

 

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The findings generated energetic discussions particularly in areas where gaps were identified, such as reinforcement of exclusive breast feeding education and the use of birth plan. Feedback was excellent from the City Health partners and further research using this data can be undertaken, involving also husbands/partners, community leaders and physicians/nurses.

The next presentation was to the DOH and the findings were well received. Although a number of studies on the use of the birth plan and birth preparation and complication readiness have been conducted, no such research has yet been undertaken in the Philippines, so this was valuable preliminary information for the DOH. 

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Feedback on the Mother & Child book showed that while it contained useful information for mothers, it would benefit greatly from being simplified to ensure this valuable resource is used. Recommendations also include increased education and training for Community Health Volunteers so they are better equipped to support the midwives and parents.

The final presentation to my colleagues in PDQ at Save…..

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This baseline research has provided useful insights and evidence to pursue further improvements to the birth plan process and the MNCHN Program during 2016. Although gaps were identified, the challenges are enormous. The passion, dedication and hard work by the health workers, CHW’s, volunteers and partners to continually improve maternal and newborn health is incredible.

A huge thank you to all the respondents who willingly agreed to participate in this research and of course the teams at LVPO in Quezon City and SCMPO in Mindanao for their support and hard work in collecting this data 🙂

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It’s been a transformational experience that I will never forget. I’ve seen and experienced many things in this amazing country and I can scarcely believe it’s over already. My eyes have been well and truly opened, thanks largely to my supervisor Doc Mads who I have learned a great deal from during my time here, especially in the field. If you get the chance, please watch these two amazing documentaries, featuring Doc Mads and Country Director, Ned Olney. They are entitled ‘Hunger Pains’ and highlight the chronic malnutrition problem in the Philippines, in which Save are working hard to raise awareness of and support.

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tvshows/getreal-s14/hunger-pains/2386626.html

http://www.channelnewsasia.com/tv/tvshows/getreal-s14/hunger-pains-pt-2/2402784.html

Finally, thank you PDQ for having me, making me feel welcome and being great fun to work with. I will miss you!

 

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Next stop….what a ride! Speak soon, Alli 🙂