Monday, August 09, 2010

Catholics for RH hold strategic planning workshop

The Catholics for Reproductive Health (C4RH) held a strategic planning workshop last June 24-25, 2010 at the Fersal Place Hotel in Quezon City to formulate the group's mandate for the next two years. C4RH is a fellowship of concerned Filipino Catholics, as individuals or as organizations, who affirm that the guiding principles of reproductive health do not contradict the practice of the Catholic faith, and who support the right to reproductive health.

20 representatives from partner organizations in 7 cities, including Davao, Cebu, Iloilo, Legaspi, and Tagbilaran, reviewed and redefined the vision, mission and mandate of C4RH. The newly-stated vision of C4RH is "a fellowship of Filipino Catholics living in harmony with their faith and right to RH", with a mission "[t]o organize and support fellow Filipino Catholics in understanding, appreciating and promoting RH as a right." The agreed upon mandate or major final outputs are: (1) sustained capacity building on RH and Religion; (2) a strong, established and maintained network of fellows; and (3) active and responsive advocacy on RH and religion. HAIN was designated the Secretariat of C4RH.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

HAIN staff to attend health activist course in Sri Lanka

Emily Magharing, one of HAIN's research associates, is attending a short training course of the International People’s Health University (IPHU) of the People’s Health Movement (PHM) from August 8 to 16, 2010 in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. Entitled "The Struggle for Health," the course is organized by People’s Health Movement (PHM), Sarvodaya (on behalf of PHM-Sri Lanka) and Health Action International – Asia Pacific (HAI-AP).

The IPHU short courses aim to strengthen the global network of people's health activists and enable younger health activists to share experiences, learn from and with each other, and create connections. The topics to be tackled include the struggle for health, working with communities and with grass roots people’s organizations, the social determinants of health, comprehensive primary health care, and the political economy of health. The participants will include younger health activists and practitioners involved with the issues of health, gender and human rights and particularly including those involved in the People’s Health Movement (PHM).

The IPHU organizes short courses throughout the year in different PHM member countries. For more information on the IPHU and the People's Health Movement, visit their websites at and

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Network of Information for a Collective Action

It was May 1, 1985 when the first issue of Health Alert newsletter was published. This is where it all started. HAIN then became the repository of health information not just among people’s organizations but also for people in the academe, government, and media. At that time, everything was printed and publications played major role in advocacy; there was still no Internet and access to information was limited.

HAIN’s publications include newsletters, books, and monographs. Some of our publications present results of our research findings and provide documentations of the trainings we have conducted. The publications cover topics relevant to various health aspects from a wide range of social science disciplines and cater to different sectors. These publications reach both local and international communities.

The organization has gained credibility by adhering to its mission of providing accurate and unbiased scientific information. HAIN’s publications are generally reader-friendly; by tapping non-health professionals to write articles, issues are explained in layman’s language. Another advantage of tapping non-health professionals is that they provide a different perspective. Dr. Michael Tan noted that, “may nakikita na issue na nakapaloob sa health na hindi nakikita ng doctors at ibang health professionals.”

HAIN: 25 years and beyond

The people's health was one of the collateral damages of Ferdinand Marcos's 20-year dictatorial regime. During that period, people were dying of communicable but easily treatable diseases. The health care system was in disarray, with people dying without ever seeing a doctor.

To address the gap, community health based programs (CBHPs) were established throughout the country to provide badly needed medical services. CBHPs were also quick to realize that the state of the people's health was inextricably tied to the prevailing socio-economic and political conditions. Thus, CBHPs also focused on community organizing to empower the people so that they themselves could demand for a just and humane society.

While CBHPs were making head ways in providing medical services to the people and in organizing communities, two areas were overlooked: research and documentation. In an interview, Dr. Michael Tan, founder of HAIN, said that there were a lot of information needs at that time aside from training manuals. Program members brought this concern, which ultimately led to the formation of the Health Action Information Network (HAIN).

Monday, May 24, 2010

New HAIN publications (May 2010)

Bagong Pag-asa, Bagong Buhay (comics on RH for the community). To help raise the awareness on RH at the community level, HAIN produced a comics in Filipino which covered topics on violence against women, sexually transmitted infections, and family planning methods. To complement the discussions given by the barangay health workers, it is hoped that this resource material could help the people make informed decisions about family planning and other RH concerns.

Keeping the Faith Alive : A Slimbook on Responding to the Challenges Posed by the Catholic Church Hierarchy on Reproductive Health. (by Giney Villar and Corazon dela Paz) aims to contribute to the work of Catholic RH advocates as they bridge the gaps between their personal faith and the work they do—through a series of exercises on real-life situations that require advocates to effectively communicate with facts, composure and with their faith in place.

Bulong ng Panahon (Whisper of the Times), produced by Celso Espaldon of Tubig Kanlungan, is a 15-minuter educational/advocacy film discusses the link between climate change and reproductive health. It focused on the experiences of a selected community in Botolan, Zambales, and how a big calamity and the women’s reproductive health are affected and experienced. It is targeted to raise the level of awareness of women and girls in communities, policy and decision-makers, health workers and program managers.

Tungkol kay Olivia (About Olivia) is , produced by Maricar Vallido (The Forum), is a short film documentary which aims to draw attention to the very alarming maternal mortality rate in the country. The film focuses on the lives of the 11 children whose mother died while giving birth to the 11th child. The video aims to raise awareness on the status of poor urban dwellers that will result in better health and services particularly RH services for women, and establish support from the local government and other key decision and policymakers.

Health Alert Special Anniversary issue highlights HAIN's 25 years of health advocacy.

These materials were made possible through the support of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. To request copies, please email

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