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PIA Press Release

DOH orients more BNB operators in Southern Leyte

Maasin City, Southern Leyte (11 February) -- Another set of "Botika ng Barangay" (BnB) operators throughout Southern Leyte availed the three-day training conducted by the Department of Health (DOH), February 10-12 at Supercha here.

Resource spreaker Dr. Catalina Ronda, Regional BnB Coordinator revealed that DOH pushed for the establishment of the "Botika ng Barangay" to provide safe, effective, quality medicines available and very much affordable for the majority of Filipinos, especially the poor. They started training BnB operators since 2004, she said.

In Southern Leyte alone, DOH aims to reach 167 BnB outlets until 2010, and to date there are 77 operational BnB yet. "We are targeting 1 BnB for every 3 barangays here," Ronda disclosed in an interview held at the training venue.

The minimum requirement to put up a BnB is to have a drug outlet, a supervising Pharmacist and an official BnB operator duly trained by the DOH-Center for Health Development (CHD), with the partnership of the Local Government Unit that will provide the "tindahan", Ronda told.

The BnB operator will be responsible and accountable on the maintenance of BnB and the assets including the sales, Ronda said.

The DOH will be the one to provide the capital worth P25,000 of medicines that include "over the counter " medicines, low-priced generic drugs, two antibiotics such as Amoxicillin and Cotrimoxalzole and sone remedies for diabetes and high blood.

The BnB program, a response to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's call to reduce drug prices to as low as 50% aims to promote equity in health by ensuring the avaiablity and accessibility of affordable meidicines to all, with priority for marginalized, underserved and far-flung areas.

It was learned that out of the 695 established BnB outlets throughout Eastern Visayas, 209 are in Leyte, 146 in Samar, 106 in Eastern Samar, 82 in Northern Samar, 75 in Biliran while 77 are in Southern Leyte.

Mariza Dolera, Provincial Food and Drug Coordinator here reported that the three-day training attended by 22 interested BnB operators will be trained how to manage the drugstore, such as the financial management, inventory of medicines,supply management and stock replenishment, monitoring, among others. Another batch of training will follow on February 17-19, she added. (rgcadavos, PIA-Soleyte) [top]

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