Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao for Health (BARMMHealth)
Approximately 4 million predominantly Muslim Filipinos live in the westernmost and west-central areas of the Philippines’ Mindanao Region (provinces of Basilan, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi). During the past five centuries, armed conflict over regional autonomy has contributed to making the area the most impoverished region in the country, with low life expectancy. The region suffers from a lack of equitable access to health care and gaps in quality of health service delivery.
Inequitable gender norms have also undermined health outcomes. The country’s 2017 Demographic and Health Survey revealed that women in Mindanao are less likely to decide how to use their earnings independently and more likely to agree that husbands can hit their wives than women elsewhere in the Philippines. These socio-cultural norms result in lower health service utilization and poorer health outcomes than elsewhere in the Philippines, particularly for family planning (FP), maternal and child health (MCH), and adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH).
Overview and Objectives
The USAID BARMMHealth project, implemented by URC, partners with the Ministry of Health – Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM) to improve access to quality FP, MCH, and ASRH services for Bangsamoro families and communities.
BARMMHealth is working to:
- Improve social norms and strengthen healthy behaviors among underserved adolescents, youth, women, and men;
- Fortify quality of FP, MCH, and ASRH services; and
- Bolster key public health policies and systems needed to support behaviors and services for FP, MCH, and ASRH.
BARMMHealth has helped MOH-BARMM achieve the following key results to date:
- Developed evidence-based messaging and campaigns using multiple communication channels, including social media, 10 radio stations, community dialogue forums, and more than 800 religious leader champions. Through these channels and champions, the Activity reached over 1.37 million recipients with medically and culturally appropriate FP messaging;
- In partnership with the MOH, trained more than 1,000 service providers in providing quality family planning services; as a result, over 740 service delivery points are equipped with providers trained to counsel on and provide a range of modern family planning methods to clients;
- Improvements in access to and quality of FP services at BARMMHealth-supported sites contributed to nearly 230,000 new modern FP acceptors and over 782,000 couple years of protection;
- Established continuous quality improvement systems at 88 service delivery points, where multidisciplinary teams comprised of health managers, frontline workers and community leaders are empowered to test, document, and measure the impact of process improvements at their respective health facilities. This has led to 45,270 additional post-partum mothers adopting modern family planning methods before discharge;
- Over 47,700 adolescents received FP services by USAID-trained health care providers, a 92% increase from the beginning of the Activity. As a result of BARMMHealth’s technical assistance, 66 new health facilities are now certified Adolescent-Friendly Health Facilities;
- Over 16 service delivery points successfully integrated FP services along the continuum of care, so that couples have increased opportunity to receive respectful counseling and choose modern FP methods;
- Reached over 217,000 people through FP-MCH-ASRH mobilization and outreach in disadvantaged and remote communities; and
- Spearheaded consultations, crafting, and signing of BARMM’s Universal Health Care Implementing Rules and Regulations, a landmark milestone toward achieving universal health care coverage.
- Innovation Grants Program Expands Family Planning Services in the Philippines
- Philippine Frontline Health Workers Travel Far to Provide Reproductive Health Services in BARMM
- Choosing a Family Planning Method While Breastfeeding: Philippines
- Supporting Response to COVID-19 While Continuing Essential Health Services