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USAID, Philippines Health Department Launch Bilateral Health Program

U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. this week in Manila launched a bilateral health program between USAID and the country’s Department of Health (DOH), including “13 projects, several of which will be interventions to save mothers’ lives,” GMA News reports. “According to DOH Secretary Enrique Ona, maternal mortality is at 221 deaths per 100,000 deliveries as of 2011,” the news service writes, adding, “Apart from maternal and child health, the projects will also focus on family planning, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS.” GMA News notes, “USAID/Philippines Mission Director Gloria Steele stressed that health plays an important role in the nation’s growth.” She said, “Children who are healthy do better in school and when they do better in school, although there are no guarantees, the chances are high that they will do better in life,” the news service reports (Lapeña, 5/17).