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On 8 December 2021, at Miracle Grand Convention Hotel, Bangkok, Dr. Satit Pitutacha, Deputy Minister of Public Health, chairman of the Safe Birth for All Project Completion Virtual Conference, expressed his appreciation for the implementation and result of the Safe Birth for All project. He said this project is a collaboration to improve the quality of life of vulnerable women in remote areas so they can live their lives with equality. This project was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic and aimed to help Thai and non-Thai women in remote areas access maternal and child care services to reduce preventable maternal death in the high maternal mortality rate areas. The project also led to the enhancement of the “Safe Birth for All” standard. The Deputy Minister of Public Health also thanked the supporting organizations, namely the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Reckitt Benckiser (Thailand) Ltd.
Dr. Suwannachai Wattanayingcharoenchai, Director-General of the Department of Health said this project has begun since the first wave of COVID-19 pandemic until now, which the situation is still critical. “However, we see the opportunities, and I would like to commend all pregnant women, midwives, public health officers, and personnel from the Department of Health and all partners who continue to provide maternal and child care services, even in the situation which causes low accessibility to those services.”, said the Director-General.
Dr. Sarawut Boonsuk, Deputy Director-General of the Department of Health, who was appointed as Project Manager said that, even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Health has still implemented this project in remote areas which do not have electricity and internet signal. This is very important for the vulnerable and pregnant women in order to gain access to quality maternal and child care services for safer birth and safe motherhood. This group of people will have a better quality of life by changing point of service from home to health establishment, and also Safety Homebirth from traditional midwifery. The lesson learned and experiences from this project will be extended to neighboring countries in Greater Mekong Subregion such as Lao PDR in 2022.
Mrs. Duangkamol Ponchamni, the representative from UNFPA Thailand, commended the Department of Health and staff for seeing that the COVID-19 pandemic is just another challenge to give ways and opportunities for vulnerable women to access quality maternal and child care services. Mrs. Duangkamol thanked the Department of Health and the Ministry of Public Health for their long-time work on improving the quality of people’s life and will surely continue to do so. The lesson learned from the project implementation during COVID-19 will be an example for this region and neighboring countries with shared-border since we all have to live safely with the COVID-19.
Dr. Panote Prapansilp, Medical and External Affairs Director, Reckitt Thailand and IndoChina commended and congratulated the Department of Health, Ministry of Public Health, UNFPA and all staff who are the core mechanism to bring success to this project during this challenging time. He further thanked Reckitt for their participation in improving the life quality of vulnerable women in remote areas. This showed our commitment to our operation in Thailand and the objective, which aim for inclusive and equal access to health services for all people.