For championing Kalusugan, I. Norte lauded

LAOAG CITY, July 22– The Department of Health has lauded the all- out efforts of the provincial government of Ilocos Norte for implementing its Kalusugang Pangkalahatan or Universal Health Care program to attain its Millenium Development Goal targets by 2016.

Regional Director Myrna Cabotaje of the DOH in Ilocos, cited that Ilocos Norte is doing well in achieving the universal health care as she expressed her gratitude to the local officials, health workers and residents for their full- support. However, she said the province needs to contribute more to the national effort.

On June 11, 2015, Ilocos Norte officials and workers from the health, education and local government sectors assured their commitment to the DOH’s High Impact Five strategies in a summit held at the Plaza del Norte in Laoag City.

The Universal Health Care High Impact Five is a strategy aiming to attain the greatest improvement on health outcomes from the vulnerable population within a 15-month period addressing the gaps on five health thrusts of the government such as maternal care, infant care, under Five, HIV/AIDS and the establishment of a Service Delivery Network.

Cabotaje mentioned the towns of Nueva Era, Adams, Carasi and Banna as role models in attaining the country’s MDG target specifically on the five health thrusts of the government.

“These small towns of Ilocos Norte have unique practices when it comes to health program implementations which I think are parts of their cultures,” she said.

These distinctive practices of the four towns when it comes to health services include exceptional community network; excellent referral system; and strong presence of unity among the residents as they follow the health recommendations from Barangay Health Workers and municipal health officers, Cabotaje added.

Juan Antonio Perez, executive director of the Population Commission who represented Health Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin during the HI-5 summit in Ilocos Norte, said the province is greatly contributing to the MDG targets but also cited the need to push for more efforts for the national level of the universal health care program.

Perez said the national government is aiming 100 percent coverage of the country’s population to the Philhealth’s universal health care program until June 2016 as contribution to the MDG targets.

At present, he said that 87 percent of the Philippine population have been covered by the Philhealth care program.
“The national government is now focusing on the informal sector to be enrolled in the Philhealth care program,” he said.
Meanwhile, Perez added that the national government is gearing towards the implementation of the comprehensive sexual education in schools to reduce the teen-age pregnancy cases all-over the country.

He said the DOH and POPCOM have conceptualized a training module for the teachers assigned to teach sex education in the schools. (Freddie G. Lazaro/PIA- 1 Ilocos Norte)