Wednesday, 24 June 2015 08:00

Hi-5 Caravan fast-tracks health targets

ALABEL, Sarangani (June 24, 2015) – The Department of Health (DOH) has refocused priorities on key universal health care interventions to ensure high impact health outcomes are obtained through a nationwide Hi-5 Caravan.

According to provincial health officer Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Hi-5 Caravan, which stands for High Impact Five universal health care interventions, is DOH’s strategy to fast track accomplishments on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5 and 6.

MDG 4 is anchored on reducing child mortality, MDG 5 is for improving maternal health and MDG 6 is for combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other major diseases.

Alejandro cited the sluggish progress towards realizing the goals on time which the country has agreed with the United Nations to be 2015.

Hence initiatives from the national government to focus on these goals were made and ensuring “all constituents nationwide should be aware of the services” and ultimately reach the targets.

In his keynote speech, DOH Region 12 director Teogenes Baluma said the caravan was part of the Aquino administration’s Kalusugan Pangkalahatan or Universal Health Care agenda to improve health outcomes like maternal and child care, the most vulnerable population.

But the caravan also offered a range of health service packages including those for adolescents, men, persons with disability and the elderly.

In Sarangani, a total of 2,818 persons availed of the services like pediatric, dental, minor surgery, Philhealth related concerns, bloodletting, youth intervention activities and HIV testing, family planning, nutrition, sanitation, fire and earthquake drills, and other laboratory services during the Hi-5 Caravan held Tuesday (June 23).

These services, however, are regularly provided by the provincial health office and in the municipal health offices especially for the indigents as “health is one of the top priorities” of Governor Steve Chiongbian Solon.

Governor Solon said “it is very important to us that the population of Sarangani remains healthy” as he lamented that the indication of poverty is either falling into bad health or remaining into poor health.

Lorenzo Tan, 45 years old and residing in a far-flung barangay in Alabel, was one of those who availed of the free minor surgery. A marble-size cyst in his foot that has been bothering him since 2000 was finally extracted during the caravan.

He said he was very lucky to have undergone the surgery for free as it would cost him thousands of pesos in a private hospital.

Tan, who has 13 children, cultivates his small parcel of land that produces around two sacks of copra quarterly and plants banana for additional income.

Meanwhile, director Baluma reported that Sarangani is improving its performance in terms of health and credited it also to the leadership governance program that changed the perspective of local chief executives on health. (Beverly C. Paoyon / SARANGANI INFORMATION OFFICE)

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