Feature: Healthy new beginning
by Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (9 February) -- FOR five (5) years of service as a public health nurse, Josephine C. Villarte has never experienced an overwhelming demand of medical services until now.
"Ever since 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) has been implemented here in Puntod, a lot of parents especially the mothers came for physical check-ups, immunizations and pre- and post-natal care," Josephine gladly shared.
Josephine, a resident health nurse of Barangay Puntod, Cagayan de Oro City, shared that the health workers in the area are very pleased with the change of attitude of the people especially on health.
"Sa una kawaton pa namu ang mga bata sa mga balay para lang ma-immunize sila, karon ang mga mama na mismo ang muanhi diri para magpabakuna sa ilang mga bata (Before, we used to get the children in their homes without the knowledge of the parents so that the children will get proper immunization but now, the mothers themselves visit the health center to have their children fully immunized)," the proud nurse said.
She also mentioned that before the program was implemented in the barangay, people never really cared on their children's health and the mothers opt to be assisted by unskilled health workers in giving birth. But now when the parents are required to visit health centers, Josephine is surprised to see the number of children and mother who seek for medical check-up even if they do not have any illnesses. They are even visited by pregnant mothers who come from another barangay for pre-natal check-up.
The conditions of the program on health helped the health workers in gathering the people especially in the conduct of family planning sessions and other health related seminars.
According to Josephine, the beneficiaries' attendance every gathering inspired them to enhance their services.
"The 4Ps has been a great influence to the people as well as it became a big help for us to advocate for a healthier community. I can fully remember the efforts we exerted before to the extent that we sent summons just to persuade the people to visit the center. Now, a lot of mothers and children visit us and ask us to sign a certificate to prove that they have acquired health services," the grateful nurse expressed.
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is a government's approach to reduce poverty through giving out conditional cash cards to the extremely poor households that will help them improve their health, nutrition and education. The Program in return, obliges the beneficiaries to comply with the following conditions: 1) Pregnant mothers should get pre- and post-natal care; attended by skilled health professional during childbirth; 2) Parents or guardians must attend responsible parenthood sessions, mother's classes and parent effectiveness seminars; and 3) Children 0-5 years of age should get regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines. (DSWD X) [top]