Ifugao undergoes HIV/AIDS competency assessment
by Vency D. Bulayungan
Lagawe, Ifugao (15 August) -- While there is no reported case of HIV/AIDS here, stakeholders at the municipal and provincial level participated in a two day workshop to draft a responsive AIDS competency plan for the province and its municipalities.
Conducted by the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA), Mr. Joseph Carillo, the Local Consultant of the UNFPA, said that the program will be a venue to determine the readiness and preparedness of the 6th Country Program provinces and their pilot municipalities on HIV and AIDS. Ifugao and Mt. Province are the only provinces in the Cordillera Region covered by this program.
"The resulting AIDS Competency Plans will assist UNFPA to strategically focus their support on each locality on HIV prevention and control program implementation," Carillo said.
According to Rowena Comilang, the UNFPA Provincial Coordinator, the only towns here with a Municipal HIV/AIDS Council are Banaue and Mayoyao, which are not UNFPA areas. The pilot areas of the UNFPA are Tinoc, Asipulo and Lagawe.
Provincial Health Office (PHO) records do not indicate any case of the said dreaded disease here. However, Dr. Joseph Bulayungan, the Chief of the Provincial Hospital here said that there might be cases but it could have been referred outside the province.
Bulayungan further disclosed that the PHO has in its records cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Carillo said that inspite of the massive information drive on HIV/AIDS, people are still ignorant on some information about the disease. "People have the wrong notion of how HIV/AIDS is being transmitted, they say that it can be transmitted through mosquito bites which is not true," Carillo said.
With these concerns, Carillo said that the conduct of AIDS competency activities using the tools of the constellation for each province, assisting vulnerable groups in planning a sustainable mechanism, and providing technical inputs on how to undertake process documentation of projects and activities should be conducted. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]