LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – The province of Pangasinan rolled off its 1st Kalusugan Karaban to barangay Barlo, one of the most remote barangays in Mabini town with more than 1,000 residents benefitted from various health services including free vaccinations to the senior citizens.
The activity, which was held recently, has carried its theme “Pangkalusugan Serbisyo na Organisado ng Gobyerno Hatid sa Inyo,” one of the eight series of mobile health caravan to be conducted every Friday in the most disadvantaged barangays of the province.
The health promotion activity complements Gov. Amado “Pogi” I. Espino III’s call for a wider coverage of more effective and efficient implementation of the continuing development thrust programs.
Pangasinan First Lady Karina Espino led the health caravan team composed of provincial health workers and the Western Pangasinan District Hospital headed by Dra. Anna Theresa de Guzman and Dra. Susan Merino respectively.
The United Nations Population Fund and Australian Agency International Development (AUSAID) represented by Geri Armamani also joined the team.
Mrs. Espino, speaking on behalf of the governor, has encouraged the Barlo residents to stay healthy everyday as she pointed out the efforts of bringing the health services to the most needy have always been a priority of the provincial government.
“Our governor have always wanted to have healthy Pangasinenses and this is the very reason why we are reaching out to you by way of giving the health services that you and your family needed,” Mrs. Espino told the residents in Ilocano dialect.
The activity started with the feeding of more than 500 students of Barlo Integrated School and Surod Elementary School in which they were given bowl of lugaw with egg dispensed with nutrient supplements to boost their immune system. School supplies have also been distributed to the preschoolers and Grade 1 pupils.
One of the features of the health caravan activity is the fully equipped and air conditioned dental mobile bus where it served more than 100 students. It was donated to the province by the Department of Health last year.
Other services offered during the one-day activity include x-ray services, medical and skin disease consultations, random blood sugar test, blood typing, and provision of flu vaccine for senior citizens.
Free medicines were also given to adults who were diagnosed of having hypertension and skin diseases while underweight children were given vitamins.
However, referrals for further monitoring and hospital care were given to three special children suffering from ‘marasmus’ , a severe condition of malmutrition.
Showing compassion to the health conditions of the children, Mrs. Espino advised the pregnant women to breastfeed their children saying that mother’s milk keeps the baby from any illnesses in the future.
As such, the pregnant women were given a Dignity Kit courtesy of the UNPF and AUSAID for their use before and after giving birth. It contains handy book on pregnancy and lactating mothers, ‘skirt’, diaper, toothpaste and toothbrush.
In addition, the health team promotes the province’s health services to the mothers and pregnant women through a lecture about the maternal and neo-natal health care, facility-based deliveries, child health, nutrition and family planning, and dengue and rabies awareness.
Village chief Rowena Salas thanked Gov. Espino and his wife including the health team for choosing her barangay as the first to be visited by the province’s Kalusugan Karaban.
“First time din namin na mabigyan ng serbsiyong ito at malaking tulong ito –sa aming barangay dahil napakalayo talaga ng aming lugar sa bayan para magpa-check up,” she said in an interview.
By Dexter A. See