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Building community-based health programs in Northern Cebu, Philippines

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May 2015 – October 2016

The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. is currently undertaking a project to develop community-based programs (CBHPs) in three barangays in north Cebu that were affected by Typhoon Yolanda.

With the support of the LandsAid, a German humanitarian aid organization, the project aims to provide health skills trainings and services to community health workers and residents in Barangays Dalingding Norte and Paypay in Daanbantayan and Tindog in Medellin.

The project works closely with the people’s organizations in the communities, namely, the Nakahiusang Kababayen-an sa Sitio Mayjo (United Women in Sitio Mayjo, Paypay), Nagkahiusang Lumolupyo sa Hacienda Gomez (United Residents in Hacienda Gomez, Sitio Gomez, Dalingding Norte), and the Nagkahiusang Lumolopyo sa Sitio Manan-aw (United Residents in Sitio Manan-aw) in Tindog, Medellin.

The three barangays were among the four areas that benefitted from medical missions conducted by the VPHCS with the support of LandsAid in Sept., Nov. and Dec. 2014.

The project started in May 2015 and ends in October 2016.

Building CBHPs in the three barangays addresses the lack of health services in the communities. At the core of the CBHP are community health workers (CHWs) who are trained and equipped with knowledge and skills on basic preventive and promotive health care. They can treat common illnesses of the residents using simple home remedies such as tested indigenous herbal plants, water therapy, acupressure, massage, and common Western medicines. Community health educations shall be held to equip the people with necessary knowledge on the causes, treatment and prevention of common diseases in the homes. With community health awareness, health programs such as nutrition, herbal gardens, environmental sanitation, hypertension control and family planning can be established.

Furthermore, since the three communities are vulnerable to suffer adverse effects when disasters particularly typhoons strike, the project shall help the people protect themselves and to face and respond to the disasters before outside help arrives. A community-based disaster management (CBDM) program shall be established where the communities through their disaster preparedness committees shall be trained on disaster preparedness so that they can cope at any time the impact and consequences of disasters, with little or no external assistance.

The population and number of households in the three barangays are as follows, namely: Paypay, Daanbantayan: 3,124 population, 735 households. Dalinding Norte, Daanbantayan: 3,294 population, 549 households. Tindog, Medellin: 5,185 population, 865 households.

All three organizations have their respective committees on socio-economic and livelihood, education, disaster management, and health.

Such CBHP and CBDM programs emphasize people’s participation, build upon and strengthen their existing available resources, coping strategies and capacities, are empowering, and geared towards the goal of building resilient communities

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