Quality health care in MP remote barangays improving

BONTOC, Mountain Province  – Utmost delivery of quality health care in the barangays of the province is expected; this, with the sharing and learning of the best health practices of the different Community Health Teams (CHTs).

CHTs from the Bontoc Ili of Bontoc, Banguitan of Besao, Madongo of Sagada and Bagnen Oriente of Bauko recently visited barangays in Paracelis and Natonin that are recognized for their best health practices.

Among the barangays visited are Butac and Alunogan, both of Natonin; and Butigue and Palitud of Paracelis.

The CHT is composed of the punong barangay as the chairperson, the midwife as the co-chairperson. Members include the Kagawad member who chairs the Committee on Health, Education and Environment, barangay health workers (BHWs)/ barangay nutrition scholars, traditional birth attendants, at least two elders, representatives from church groups/ non- government organizations, day care workers, school head in the barangay, Parents Teachers Associations and others as may be deemed necessary by the body.

Butac CHT headed by Punong Barangay Onofre l. Baguinit shared their best practice entitled, “Senapang’s System Revolving Assistance.” Of the P10, 000.00 provincial aid they received in 2009, they decided to make use of the P8, 000.00 as a revolving medical assistance fund. This was realized with the following considerations: 1) Most residents of the barangays are farmers and rely on the subsistence farming; thus, do not have spare money; and 2) Patients for further management are referred outside the municipality; thus, there is an additional expenses for transportation, medicines and other necessities.

To ensure effective implementation of the program, policies for the use of the fund were made and are as follows: 1) Residents can borrow in all cases that need hospitalization in and outside the municipality. The maximum amount to be loaned is P4, 000.00 for referred case outside the municipality while maximum of P2, 000.00 if within the municipality; 2) The duration of the loan is two months regardless of the amount; 3) Service fee shall be one percent of the total amount; and 4) Failure to pay on the due date, the CHT will call for an emergency meeting for appropriate action.

Since its inception, this best practice benefitted 10 recipients in 2010 and 12 in 2011. Until now, this is a continuing practice which does not only help the constituents of Butac, but also, it encourages cooperation and accountability among the beneficiaries.

Barangay officials of Alunogan and members of the CHT under the leadership of Punong Barangay Perry A. Liwanen narrated on how they came up with their Good Sanitation Practices. Accordingly, before 1960’s to 1970s, drinking water was taken from the spring “changhiyan.”

Animals like pigs are freely roaming around and scatter their manure anywhere as there was no pigpen. These unsanitary practices affected the health conditions of the community specially the children who are most vulnerable to diseases such as scabies, itchy skins, cough and colds, boils and intestinal worms.

To address this, numerous ordinances were enacted. These include ordinances on prohibition of garbage disposal to non-dumping area; putting up of pigpens in every households; construction of sanitary toilets; community cleaning every end of the month and quarterly cleaning of water. These initiative of the CHT and the barangay officials have improved the health condition of the barangay.

Officials and CHT members of Butigue presented their Proper Ecological Solid Waste Management and pregnancy tracking. The CHT through the leadership of Punong Barangay Russel D. Capua, adopted R.A. 9003 otherwise known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. Thereby, Barangay Ordinance No. 02, s. 2015 was enacted thru construction of Eco-Compost Receptacle (ECR) for Biodegradable Waste, Residual Waste Depot (RWD) for Non-Biodegradable Waste and Compost Pit. They conduct monthly monitoring among the households on the proper waste management.

Households who do not comply of the ordinance are given summon letter three times. Households who still refuse to comply will not be given barangay clearances when needed unless they pay their obligation. A septic vault was also constructed from the development fund of the barangay. Apart from this, the barangay budgeted for next year an amount for the purchase of an ambulance to be used during emergency cases.

Barangay officials and CHT members of Palitud led by Punong Barangay Andrew A. Pudlao toured the participants to the birthing clinic which was constructed through “Binnadang System.” The barangay is located 19 kilometers from Poblacion, where the Rural Health Unit (RHU) and Paracelis District Hospital are located. The CHT narrated that in one of their meetings, they came up with a consensus to solicit for any voluntary amount in every sitio. The first collection was used to purchase galvanized iron, cement and steel bars. The labor was rendered free by men whereas the hauling of materials was also contributed by barangay officials who were not able to attend the construction. Women worked side by side with men. Aside from cooking of food for the work force, they also assisted in carrying and passing materials to them. The punong barangay acted as the foreman of this project.

In November 2015, the birthing home became functional. There were five mothers who delivered their babies in this facility. The birthing home does not only cater to constituents of Palitud, but also from nearby barangays of which the latest delivery came from Barangay Buringal.

The study visit of the participants from the western and central part to the eastern part of Mountain Province aims to strengthen the CHTs in showcasing their best practices and to educate the CHT members of their role and functions in improving the health status of their communities.

This activity was realized through the initiative of the Department of Health (DOH) – regional office and DOH –provincial office in partnership with the provincial government through its Provincial Health Office.

Last year, it was the CHTs from Butac and Alunogan, both of Natonin; and Butigue and Palitud of Paracelis that visited the CHTs in Bontoc lli of Bontoc, Banguitan of Besao, Madongo of Sagada and Bagnen Oriente of Bauko.

By Alpine L. Killa

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