Medical Perspectives | Others

September 21, 2020



That first embrace of the mother is the first step to a healthy happy baby. This in gist is what UNANG YAKAP, a Department of Health (DOH) project backed by the World Health Organization, is all about.

 

The hospital-based program was developed as a result of data showing that newborn deaths are “due to stressful events or conditions, during labor, delivery and the immediate postpartum period.” Neonatal deaths account for 37% of deaths of children under-five, from 2000-2003.

 

The program for ESSENTIAL ITRAPARTUM NEWBORN CARE (EINC) is described as a “simple cost-effective newborn care intervention” intended to enable improved neonatal and maternal care. By changing childbirth practices, maternal and newborn deaths can be reduced significantly.

 

UNANG YAKAP emphasizes a step-by-step sequence of actions, or Four Core Steps of Essential Newborn Care.

 

  • Immediate and thorough drying: provides warmth to the child and prevents hypothermia from setting in
  • Early skin-to-skin contact: establishes mother and child bonding and minimizes the risk of sepsis and hypoglycaemia
  • Properly timed cord clamping and cutting: prevents anemia and hemorrhage
  • Non-separation of the newborn and mother for early initiation of breastfeeding

 

The UNANG YAKAP protocol was first mandated in public and private hospitals in the Philippines in 2009, under an administrative order of the DOH. Administrative Order 2009-0025 provided specific details on care during birth until first 6 hours of life, as a guide for healthcare workers as well as clarify the importance of public health units in the implementation of the protocol.

 

The initial results of UNANG YAKAP were encouraging, with lower numbers in cases of neonatal sepsis, lower admissions to neonatal intensive care units, and decreases in maternal and newborn deaths. Ten years after, the EINC program continues to spread the lessons of better childbirth practices and the wonders of that first embrace.

 

[1] Silvestre, M.A. [2010, March]. Essential Newborn Care: The DOH/WHO Protocol. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/doc/34272675/Essentials-of-Newborn-Care-The-DOH-WHO-Protocol

[2] Silvestre, M.A. [2010, March]. Essential Newborn Care: The DOH/WHO Protocol. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/doc/34272675/Essentials-of-Newborn-Care-The-DOH-WHO-Protocol

[3] Department of Health. [n.d.]. UNANG YAKAP (ESSENTIAL NEWBORN CARE: PROTOCOL FOR NEW LIFE). Retrieved from https://www.doh.gov.ph/unang-yakap

[4] Silvestre, M.A. [2010, March]. Essential Newborn Care: The DOH/WHO Protocol. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/doc/34272675/Essentials-of-Newborn-Care-The-DOH-WHO-Protocol

[5] Serrano, M. [2018, January]. Knowing Unang Yakap Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.rnspeak.com/knowing-unang-yakap-campaign/

[6] Serrano, M. [2018, January]. Knowing Unang Yakap Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.rnspeak.com/knowing-unang-yakap-campaign/

[7] Serrano, M. [2018, January]. Knowing Unang Yakap Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.rnspeak.com/knowing-unang-yakap-campaign/

[8] Tanggol. F. [n.d.]. Unang Yakap: Encouraging Breastfeeding from the Start. Retrieved from http://origin.wpro.who.int/philippines/mediacentre/features/unang_yakap_encouraging_breastfeeding/en/

[9] Serrano, M. [2018, January]. Knowing Unang Yakap Campaign. Retrieved from https://www.rnspeak.com/knowing-unang-yakap-campaign/

[10] World Health Organization. [n.d.]. Unang Yakap. Retrieved from http://www.wpro.who.int/philippines/areas/lifecourse/unang_yakap/story_on_how_unang_yakap_came_about/en/

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