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Philippines. (Monitoring Country Activities).

* A festive launching of the national network for "Advancing Women's Health through Quality Health Services and Participatory Governance" was held on 27 February at Hotel Rembrandt in Quezon City. The multi-stakeholders' network activity was organised by WomanHealth-Philippines in cooperation with the Department of Health (DOH). More than 200 participants from the DOH, NGOs, local governing units, local women, funding agencies, media and business groups attended. The event aimed to: (a) share the findings and recommendations of the national and regional focus group discussions on quality health services; (b) evolve a national women's health advocacy agenda based on the results of the regional and local consultations; (c) firm up a multi-stakeholder engagement; and (d) launch the National Advocacy Campaign on Advancing Women's Health through Quality Health Services and Participatory Governance. The launch began with a play entitled, "What Women Want in Terms of Quality Health Services", which depicted the results of a nationwide research. The actors and actresses came from the pilot areas of the research site and were facilitated by The Philippines Educational Theatre Association (PETA). Secretary of the DOH, Manuel Dayrit, gave the keynote speech. He challenged the stakeholders to address women as women (not as mothers or childbearers) in the delivery of health services. This was followed by speeches from other senior officials from the DOH, mayors, a TV host and journalist and two local women from the pilot areas of research. An open forum ensued. Professor Cynthia Bautista of the University of the Philippines synthesised the activity in three points: 1) The change of mindset among various stakeholders should include a paradigm shift from viewing health as a need to viewing health as a right; 2) the crucial need for the participation of women and the community in the crafting, implementation and monitoring of health services; and 3) the giving of priority to the underprivileged in the delivery of health services. Certificates, stickers with the slogans "My Body, My Decision" and "My Health, My Right" and WomanHealth t-shirts were distributed at the end of the programme.

Source: WomanHealth Philippines, Inc., 129-A, Matatag Street, Barangay Central, Quezon City 1100, Philippines; Tel/Fax: (632) 4355254; E-mail: <womanhealth@surfshop.net.ph>.
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Title Annotation:women's health
Publication:Arrows For Change
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 1, 2002
Words:361
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