A member of the indigenous tribe in the southern Philippines dances during a ceremony in Mindanao. (Mindanao Examiner Photo - Mark Navales)
MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / Nov. 1, 2012) – The National Commission on Indigenous Peoples launched the so-called Indigenous Peoples Maternal, Neonatal, and Child Health and Nutrition Project-Mindanao, a landmark health program for the country’s tribal people.
The project - supported by the European Union – was launched recently as the NCIP celebrated the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act. President Benigno Aquino also graced the occasion.
“It was a timely occasion for us to disseminate, in a nationwide scale, the information about the project and elaborate on the significance of a culture-sensitive health care for our indigenous peoples, especially for the women and children with regards to their maternal, neonatal, and nutrition.”
“IPRA includes the health rights of our Indigenous Peoples as among their basic human rights and we believe that the project will contribute significantly in the provision and protection of these rights,” Project Director Dr. Lilibeth Malabanan said in a statement sent to the regional newspaper Mindanao Examiner.
NCIP Chairperson Zenaida Brigida Pawid said: “They are so blessed because the program is not just to do a research but actually to cure whatever is there that they look for in terms of the neonatal and maternal health, which, according to the government is the biggest mortality.”