The Visayas Primary Healthcare Services, Inc. (VPHCS) held an orientation on the project on community-based COVID-19 response for members of the Association of Barangay Councils of Medellin on August 26, 2020 at the Social Hall of the Municipal Hall.
Thirteen out of 19 barangay captains attended it. It was facilitated by VPHCS staff Dr. Erlinda Posadas, Irish Grace Ramirez and Lourdes Geolin. The barangay officials were led by ABC President Edwin Salimbangon. After a prayer led by Mahawak Barangay Captain Fe Villacampa, Dr. Posadas gave an overview of the project activities, emphasizing those that will directly involve the barangay captains. The audience expressed their support even as they said that although Medellin has a total number of 58 cases only as of that day, they should all continue to exert efforts to keep the number of cases low.
Medellin Municipal Health Office Dr. Oliver Gimenez followed Dr. Posadas’ talk with a discussion on the trends of COVID-19 cases until there were now seven active cases as of that day. He also highly urged the barangay captains to encourage their constituents, especially those who are at risk of getting COVID-19 particularly those who are traveling or working in Cebu City, and the locally stranded individuals (LSI) to have them undergo the PCR test.
Ms. Ramirez followed Dr. Gimenez talk on the coming BHERTs training. It was decided by the barangay captains to have the training on September 3 and 4. She identified the number of members of BHERT for each of the 19 barangays in the municipality. The grant agreement had identified 10 barangays to have their BHERTs trained with eight members per barangay or a total of 80 participants. She had earlier consulted with ReachHealth Project Provincial Technical Officer Keannu Arnoco who had consulted with PTO Lurica June Gambe on RTI’s decision to train more BHERTs in order to cover all the 19 barangays. VPHCS will train 80 participants as provided for in the grant agreement while RTI will train an additional 42 participants, for a total of 122 participants coming from all 19 barangays. The number of BHERTs members per barangays was proportionate to the population size, with those with the most population such as Kawit and Poblacion having more training participants.
There will be four batches, 30 in the first batch, 30 in the second batch, 20 in the third batch for the VPHCS trainings, and 42 in the fourth batch for the RTI training. Notices will be given to the barangay captains through their ABC secretary at least a week before the trainings.
After the meeting, the project team then went to see Ms. Blanche G. Mijares, secretary to the principal of the Medellin Central School to arrange for a reservation of the conference hall of their school for the venues of the training on September 3 and 4. This will be used for one batch of 30 participants on September 3, 4.
Later, the project team went to see Ms. Gemma Villamor of the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) in order to make reservations of the second floor of their building as venue for the second batch of another 30 participants.
On August 28, a letter was personally given to the Medellin ABC Secretariat to be given to ABC President Edwin Salimbangon. The letter informed him of the barangays to be trained on September 3, 4. They include the following, with the respective number of participants, namely, Mahawak, 7, Antipolo, 7, Caputatan Norte, 6, Don Virgilion Gonzales, 5, Kawit, 8, Lumintak Norte, 6, Poblacion, 7, Daanlungsod, 7, Panugnawan, 6, and Canhabagat, 6, for a total of 32 participants from ten barangays.