PUERTO PRINCESA, PHILIPPINES – The quiet town of Aborlan in Palawan is celebrating the opening of Bahai Arugaan ni Maria, a reproductive health and birthing clinic operated by the Wadah Philippines Foundation to support expectant mothers of Aborlan and its nearby cities and municipalities.
The clinic, which opened its doors to patients in late May 2022 with funding from Direct Relief, is part of the Wadah Philippines Foundation’s long-term efforts to improve maternal and child health that date back to Super Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines in 2013.
On its first day of operations, the clinic provided 11 prenatal checkups to patients.
The facility has a six-bed labor room and a six-bed recovery room. The team at Bahai Arugaan ni Maria and founder Ibu Robin believe that “gentle birth promotes peace on earth,” and patients at the clinic can move around the delivery room for the most comfortable birth.
The location of the clinic was chosen based on need. The province of Palawan reports the fourth highest maternal mortality in the Philippines. It also has one of the country’s highest rates of teenage pregnancies.
The Wadah Philippines Foundation sees the facility not only as a birthing facility but as a place to provide reproductive health education and awareness of HIV-AIDS.
The facility will also establish organic farming areas where mothers and the community can work together on healthy and nourishing food supply for the community and the facility’s patients.
Teresa “Tet” Maniego, Wadah Philippines Foundation’s Executive Director, explained the overarching principle of holistic maternal care at the new clinic. “It takes a village to raise a child and we hope to empower the community at BAM to be a nurturing village to grow a healthy and empowered child,” she said.