Friday, December 13, 2013

Sablayan DTTBs & RHUs

DTTB stands for Doctors to the Barrios. It is a program of Department of Health (DOH) pioneered in 1993 by then Health Secretary Juan Flavier. The program encourages medical graduates to consider spending a couple of years or so of their professional practice in some of the country’s poorest and most remote barrios and sitios where healthcare needs are prevalent. The program, according to current DOH Secretary Enrique Ona, is aimed to address this gap by providing “equitable healthcare services to all areas of the country by deploying competent, committed, community-oriented and dedicated physicians to serve inaccessible areas.” The Rural Health Unit (RHU) of Sablayan North located at Brgy. Pag-Asa, catering the health needs of people from Barangays of San Agustin, Ilvita, Claudio Salgado, Pag-Asa, Victoria and the rest, has now a DTTB in the person of Dr. Camille Carissa A. Asuncion, MD.

She’s no doubt another DTTB! I'll decode that acronym later.

Mayor Eduardo B. Gadiano through the Municipal Planning and Development Office (MPDO) and the rest of the members of the Local Poverty Reduction Team (LPRAT) initiated last year the Bottom-Up Planning and Budgeting (BuB) for 2013. The LGUs are key vehicles in poverty reduction through BuB. Assisted by the officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government or DILG under Provincial Director Ulysses E. Feraren, participants of the planning and budgeting process have identified the need for two DTTB in our municipality. The DOH responded positively and dispatched, initially, the young doctor from Calaca, (or was it Nasugbu?) Batangas. The BuB by the way is a process that ensure the inclusion of the funding requirements for the development needs of at least 300 of the 609 selected focus LGUs in the country. Our town included.

Aside from DTTB, another program of the DOH is called Health Facilities Enhancement Program or the HFEP. By year 2014, according to data from the Provincial Health Office, the Occidental Mindoro Provincial Hospital in Mamburao is expecting Php 6,693,000.00 for facility enhancement specifically for medical equipment. Allotted for the Sablayan District Hospital on infrastructure is half million pesos while for medical equipment is pegged at Php 4,083.000.00.

The LGU now has two Annex RHUs with corresponding two full-time doctors. RHU-Pag-Asa is headed by Dr. Asuncion while in Ligaya, Dr. Meldie D. Soriano, MD is at the helm. The 2 RHUs were inaugurated only last April 9 and October 30 of this year, respectively. According to Dir. James F. Fadrilan, CESO IV, Regional Director of DILG-Mimaropa, Sablayan is the only town in the region which has two municipal/RHU extension buildings.

In our 2013 Annual Investment Plan, people from the Municipal Health Office with regards to maternal care, have projected an increased facility-based delivery by 40%. The 2 RHUs intend to bring health services closer to the people especially those who dwell in far-flung communities specifically with regards to Basic Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care or BEmONC.

Let us go back to DTTB. Every DTTB in the country is expected to develop health systems, projects and programs based on the priority needs of the locality. Including the management of the mobilization of resources for projects and programs related to public health and RHU operation through an established inter/intra-agency partnership and collaboration, among other things stipulated at the MOA between the LGU and the DOH represented by Mayor Ed and Dr. Ariel I. Valencia, MD, MPH, CESO III, Director of Community Health Department (CHD) of Region IV-B.

In all aspects of President Simeon Benigno S. Aquino III’s “Kalusugan Para sa Lahat”, health service providers in Sablayan generally fared well. They, to paraphrase the Hippocratic Oath, always preserving the finest traditions of their calling and the long experience of the joy of healing those who seek help, especially our stakeholders in programs and projects under IPAO, the Alangan and Taobuid Mangyans of Sablayan. They risk their lives and limbs defying dangerous trails and other hardships to render their avowed duty and mission. 

Aside from the two women physicians that I have already mentioned, my kudos too to all women health care practitioners or health service providers of Sablayan I rubbed elbows with like Mesdames Anna Marie Sheryll R. Kenept, Mary Jinky E. Ani, including my bosom friend in Nurse Jho T. Manzano.

In their own rights, they are DTTBs too: Dedicated, Truly Talented and,… Beautiful…

(Photo: Sablayan Herald)

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