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PIA Press Release

ZFF names Pinabacdao and Daram, Samar as beneficiaries

Catbalogan, Samar (September 16) -- The Zuellig Family Foundation's (ZFF) partnership program named two Samar municipalities Daram and Pinabacdao as new partners in health programs.

In a press release, it said that with the province's serious health issues, the two municipalities, Daram and Pinabacdao were identified because of the local initiatives and health interventions in their localities.

"It is fortunate that the local chief executives of these towns have taken pro-active stance in solving their respective municipalities' critical health problems, it is their drive and willingness to really work for better health outcomes that their municipalities were chosen," Zuellig Family Foundation said.

Among the criteria for the selection of municipalities were high disease burden such as maternal mortality ratio, infant mortality rate, malnutrition prevalence, sanitation and infectious disease; undermanned and incomplete health facilities and services.

ZFF claimed that the local chief executives and their municipal health officers are committed to improving health status.

Mayor Lucia Latorre-Astorga of Daram,Samar, a doctor by profession said "that among the challenges they face as local chief executives are insufficient funds, lack of competent health personnel, good health facilities, bad infrastructure that prevent quick and efficient delivery of health services".

Daram is an island municipality where the means of transportation is only by motor boats or banca.

"Our barangays are totally isolated during monsoon seasons and bad weather, thereby making it hard for our constituents to immediately access health care especially during emergency", Mayor Astorga said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Mario Quijano of Pinabacdao, also a doctor by profession, proudly beams that his municipality along with Daram was chosen from 191 nominated municipalities across the country.

The list was trimmed down to 27, based on initial studies done by the foundation then finally shortlisted to 12 municipalities.

"We (the 12 municipalities) underwent a final selection workshop where we faced questioning by the foundation's board of trustees.

Thereafter, we were formally accepted by the foundation as partners for the next two to three years", said Mayor Quijano.

Among the benefits of the partnership are leadership trainings and workshops, funding for the construction of health facilities, holding of community health summits, other health activities and implementation of appropriate innovative health programs to improve health indicators and outcomes.

The 12 municipalities are Bulalacao, Oriental Mindoro; Cajidiocan and San Fernando, Romblon; Minalabac, Camarines Sur; Pilar and Prieto Diaz, Sorsogon; Daram and Pinabacdao, Samar; Leon Postigo, Lapuyan and San Pablo of Zamboanga Del Sur and Tungawan, Zamboanga Sibugay. In working with these municipalities, the foundation aims to help the country to attain Millennium Development Goals in health by 2015, targeting to work with 50 municipalities between 2009 and 2013.

These municipalities will be closely monitored by Zuellig Family Foundation to ensure effective program implementation, such are effectiveness in reducing health in-equities, enhancing health information systems, improving health indicators particularly maternal and infant mortality rate malnutrition rate and infectious diseases prevention as well as improving water, sanitation and hygiene systems. (Twinkle Japzon with PIA-Samar) [top]

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