Dr Donna Isabel S. Capili is lead of UNICEF Philippines' "Implementation of MNCHN Health Systems Strengthening for Indigenous Cultural Communities in Selected Areas in Region XII" by local non-government organizations, Alliance for Improving Health Outcomes (AIHO) and Kalusugan ng Mag-ina, Inc. (KMI). The objective of the two year undertaking was to support local government units in implementing community-determined strategies that strengthen indigenous peoples access to the health system, based on the felt needs of select barangays (villages) for appropriate, culturally competent, equitable and quality MNCHN services through participatory approaches. In the course of this assistance, Contextualized Structured Learning Experience (CSLE) sessions were co-created and served as a novel platform for learning exchanges for systems strengthening between non-indigenous and indigenous stakeholders. Recognition of power plays and facilitated discourse enabled the capacity of the indigenous and the non-indigenous institutions to collaborate resulting in sustainable partnerships to support indigenous expertise and participation in health systems strengthening.
Dr Capili is a pediatrician-neonatologist who completed fellowship training in the University of Toronto Perinatal and Neonatal Medicine program. Upon return to the Philippines, she engaged in clinical practice and hospital administration. She also became active in public health and has since shifted course to it full time. Her public health practice spans health policy development, health financing, capacity development of human health resources and health systems strengthening towards the optimization of maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition. Her key advocacies center on Essential Intrapartum and Newborn Care (EINC), breastfeeding and childhood malnutrition.