Salcedo, Eastern Samar – The Department of Health-Health Emergency Management Bureau (DOH-HEMB) national director Dr. Gloria Balboa and Zuellig Family Foundation vice president Ramon Derige recently visited the municipality of Salcedo to check out the Barangay Health Emergency Management Systems Training (BHEMS).
Oxfam is currently supporting 10 of its barangays through the WIRED (Women Increased Resilience and Empowered Against Disaster) project. Salcedo Mayor Melchor Melgar, Vice Mayor Maricris Fabillar, Municipal Health Officer Dr. Socorro Campo, and Oxfam Program Manager Roy Soledad joined the visit.
“Coordination is one of the very important things we learned during typhoon Yolanda. It is also vital for communities to know what to do before, during and after a disaster so we can avoid disasters,” said Dr. Balboa. “Community preparedness is important because the community is left on their own in the first three days after a disaster. Therefore, it is important to secure yourself and your family. Because of these experiences, agencies like us in DOH-)-HEMB, we came up with the 2017-2022 Strategic Plan with the vision that safety is in the hands of the community. We call it 5K which means Kaligtasan Pangkalusugan sa Kalamidad sa Kamay ng Komunidad. It is important that your hands know what the proper thing to do such as first aid.”
In Salcedo, Dr. Balboa and Derige visited the BHEMS, which involved barangay chairpersons, selected barangay health workers, barangay committee chairperson on health, and community youth health volunteers from Barangays Casili-on, Sta. Cruz, Tagbacan, Maliwaliw and Taclaon.
The two-day training was conducted on July 20-21, 2016 in Salcedo Demo Farm. Earlier, participants from barangays Palanas, Carapdapan, Cantomoja, Caga-ut, and Caraza joined the first batch of training. There were 36 female and 13 male attendees in two batches of the said training.
“We had realizations after the typhoon Yolanda, it was not just food that the typhoon survivors needed but also hygiene kits especially for women. There were no markets available, so when our trucks came, they looked for hygiene kits. Secondly, we were looking for pregnant women. We provided some incentives for pregnant mothers to have pre-natal and post-natal check up so maternal death will be avoided and we were happy that there was no such incidence happened,” said Derige. “Eventually, we have coordinated with the Mayor so we will prepare not just the LGU Municipal but importantly the barangays. Moreover, we have discussed how the RHU (Rural Health Unit) can provide health services to the community in times of calamities. Whether the people like it or not, the local communities have a big role in disaster preparedness particularly the barangay leaders. Aside from technical in disaster preparedness, we also need to be ready to become a leader in times of disaster. In collaboration with Oxfam, RHU and partners, we would like to include leadership sessions in the discussion of disaster preparedness. If our heart is not in there, it will be nothing. We are here because we want to help as members of the community.”
BHEMS Training is part of the capacity building support of Oxfam that aims to specifically contribute to the objective of increasing local capacity to address reproductive and sexual health problems, especially during emergencies. It is the first pilot areas and its success will be replicated in different parts of the Philippines. Its implementation is closely coordinated with the DOH to ensure that all modules are certified and approved by the government, while it is also complementing to the activities of Zuellig Family Foundation in ensuring that other municipalities are reached as a result of the pilot trainings and modules. \\
For inquiries, contact:
Advocacy and Communications Officer
Oxfam GB in the Philippines
Eastern Samar Programme