Feature: Hitting the green mark
by Recthie B. Tolinero
Cagayan de Oro City (23 March) -- Every year, the Municipal Health Office of Tudela town in the province of Misamis Occidental tally the number of patients they have treated as well as the services offered to infants, children and pregnant mothers.
According to Meriam Z. Sumata, MHO Midwife for more than 30 years, they have seen significant changes in their health scorecard in 2006 to 2009 just as when the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps has been implemented in the municipality.
"Before 4Ps came in the area, it was really hard to persuade the people to regularly visit the center for health check-ups especially the pregnant mothers. Now, we are very happy to serve an increasing number of patients which is more than what we expected. It is only this time wherein we really have to make priority numbers to provide the medical needs of the people," Sumata expressed.
She also mentioned that these people especially the members of 4Ps, often visit the health center for consultations, medical treatments and acquiring free medicines, family planning sessions, dental check-up and pre and post-natal care.
Dalyn Sabellano, MHO Nurse, shared that for three (3) years of service in the municipality, it is her first time to see a great number of mothers who come to the center for natal care.
"With the number of patients we have been serving nowadays, we tapped the LGU to help us and so they initiated the building of health centers in every barangay. Although not all barangays were able to have a health center, we made it a point that for every health worker, he or she should have at least three catchment areas," Sabellano added.
"The 4Ps has helped us in obtaining our target scores for last three (3) years. This is the reason why we keep on supporting the program since it is beneficial to our patients as well as it has helped us promote the services that we offer," Sumata happily shared.
Since 2006, the number of children immunized in the area increased from 80% to 95.2%, protein energy malnutrition treatment among 0-5 years old increased from 12% to 19.44% and facility based deliveries increased from 34% to 77.9%.
The MHO also found out that the beneficiaries' capability in providing the basic necessities of the family helped in securing access to safe water where only 85% of them were able to obtain such facility in 2006 which increased to 98.2% in 2009 and the beneficiaries as well as the other residents were also able to secure sanitary toilet facilities from 90% in 2006 to 96.7% in 2009.
"If you will take a look at our scorecard, you will really see that since 2007, we have been getting green marks on almost all services and facility-based outputs which mean to say that we have hit our target for the specific period. Since we now sign the family booklets issued to the beneficiaries, we are expecting more green marks to come!" Sumata said.
Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program is one of the strategies of the government to reduce poverty through providing conditional cash grants to extremely poor households to improve health, nutrition and education particularly the children aged 0-14.
The beneficiaries will receive the grant for five years as long as they comply with the Program's conditions.
The health related conditions are: 1) Pregnant mothers should get pre- and post-natal care; attended by skilled health professional during childbirth, 2) Children 0-5 years of age should get regular preventive health check-ups and vaccines; and 3) Children aged 6-14 should be de-wormed once or twice a year. (DSWD) [top]