Prevention of blindness programs in city sought

BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance adopting measures and systems to ensure effective and efficient implementation of the prevention of blindness programs in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Elaine D. Sembrano stated that it shall be the policy of the local government to support and ensure the implementation of prevention of blindness programs and the engagement of all health care facilities for a coordinated primary eye care service delivery network, community mobilization and sustained collaboration with other stakeholders in the city.

The ordinance shall make available in all health centers in the city, facilities, equipment and services for the implementation of the government’s prevention of blindness programs and primary eye care services and the provision of appropriate training for personnel on primary eye care services.

The local legislative body stipulated that the City Health Services Office shall include primary eye care as one of its primary health care services to the public, such as, among others, eye/vision screening, basic eye care information education, simple eye care procedures and other related activities.

The ordinance also mandated the creation of the City Eye Health Task Force which will be composed of the City Mayor as Chairperson, City Health Services Officer as co-chairperson and the Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Health and Sanitation, City Social Welfare and Development Officer, president of the Liga ng mga Barangays, president of the Barangay Health Workers Association, DOH-CAR representative, representative of non-government organization involved in health care services, representative of the local ophthalmologists association, and representatives of local optometrists association as members.

The task force shall be empowered to formulate a city community eye health services plan pursuant to DOH Administrative Order No. 2013-0010 to include among others, training and capacity building activities for eye health services workers as well as mechanisms for program monitoring, evaluation and feedback; keep an updated record on blindness and incidents of error of refraction in the city for easy retrieval for policy, planning, study and other related purposes; establish and maintain linkages with local, national or international primary eye care services providers, organizations or institutions for the establishment of a primary eye care services delivery network and recommend to the local legislative body other measures for the enhancement of programs for the prevention of blindness and primary eye care services.

Under the proposed ordinance, all personnel, such as the barangay health workers, and CHSO staff involved or deputized in the implementation of the measure and the city community eye care services plan, shall first undergo the appropriate trainings prior to the conduct of any activity while private practitioners who may participate must also be duly trained or licensed and qualified by the CHSO.

For the strict implementation of the measure, the City Health Services Office shall adjust its annual budget to include the activities that are included in the ordinance.

By Dexter A. See


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