Medical kit mulled for far-flung barangays

THIRD district Board Member Lorenz Defensor proposed an ordinance establishing the annual basic care (ABC) kit for geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDA) within Iloilo Province.

GIDA refer to isolated areas due to distance, weather conditions and transportation difficulties.

These areas are characterized by high poverty incidence, presence of vulnerable sector, and communities in or recovering from situation of crisis or armed conflict.

Defensor, a member of the Committee on Health and Sanitation at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan said many of the poor families in far-flung municipalities and barangays suffer from health conditions and illnesses that could have been prevented if only they received proper care.

“There are around 400 GIDAs in the province. These areas are usually in the islands of the fifth district and mountain barangays of the first and third district,” he said.

Upon the passage of the ordinance, the province would provide annual medical kit to identified GIDA barangays and conduct trainings to first aiders or health providers.

The kit, which costs around P25, 000, include calamine lotion, anti-diarrhea medication, laxative, antacids pain relievers, cough and cold medications, betadine, and multivitamins for pregnant women and children, among others.

It also contains basic supplies such as bandages, instant cold packs, cotton balls, soap or hand sanitizer, eyewash solution, thermometer, syringe, first aid manual in dialect, blood pressure apparatus, nebulizer, and alcohol, among others.

It will be distributed through the barangays.

A committee headed by the Provincial Health Office (PHO) will be created to determine the GIDA barangays, determine additional medical supplies and medicines, coordinate with the barangays in the conduct of trainings for first aiders or health providers, and conduct assessment on the implementation of the ordinance.

An initial budget of P5-10 million will be appropriated under the PHO.

Defensor said the ordinance is aimed at institutionalizing the program.

“I passed the ordinance instead of proposing it as a program under PHO because of the regular shift in our administration. So once a new administration comes in and another PHO takes over, the program will not become invalid as it is already a law and the government has to fund it,” he said.

A committee hearing was held on November 13 to discuss the ordinance.

Defensor said he hopes to have the ordinance passed and approved January next year.

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