Tabuk City, Kalinga – People from all over the city came to the Kalinga Astrodome on Thursday, August 17, to avail of free medical, dental, and other health services in the first ever Community Health Day.
Community Health Day is a program of CARD Mutually Reinforcing Institution (CARD-MRI). In their letter-request to Acting Governor James S. Edduba asking permission to use the Astrodome as a venue, CARD-MRI introduced their organization as “a micro-financing institution that seeks to build sustainable and capacity-building institutions owned and led by the socially- and economically-challenged women and families”. Further, the private institution stated that their group aims to provide their customers “continued access to integrated micro-finance and social developments as well as health programs.” The organization presently has over a thousand members in Kalinga.
It’s the first time that CARD-MRI held Community Health Day in Kalinga and according to regional director Rodolf Henry Melgar, the program was initiated in response to their clients’ request that the organization expand their operations to include health services. Melgar said Community Health Day was organized to provide medical check-up, dental services, and other health services not only to its members but also to people in the host community, particularly those who are not able to avail of health services otherwise.
In the Kalinga Astrodome, five stations were set up to serve the hundreds expected to attend the event. One of the stations was for patients to consult with physicians. Another station was for patients who want to undergo physical check-up, blood pressure check-up and blood sugar testing. A dental station offered tooth extraction procedure and another station was for patients who needed consultations with an optometrist. All of these services were free of charge. A pharmacy station called the Boti-CARD was also put up for patients. It offered an array of generic medicines that can be purchased at discounted prices.
Melgar said that the physicians, nurses, and other medical practitioners who provided their services for the program were from partner agencies and institutions in nearby places, specifically in Tuguegarao, Cagayan and Cauayan, Isabela.
Dr Rhea Mendoza, a private practitioner, was the sole physician from Kalinga who participated in the program.
According to Melgar, the Community Health Day aims to serve around 300 people in its debut here in Tabuk. Although it was held in the city for only one day, Melgar said that their organization hopes to host the program regularly. He said that CARD-MRI regularly holds the same program in a number of places across the country.
By Iryll Sicnao