6.20.2010

PIA News Service - Monday, June 21, 2010

Agusan del Norte is equipped with modern facilities to monitor dengue, other dreaded diseases – Gov. Amante

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (21 June) – “We are now well equipped to monitor dengue and other dreaded diseases with the establishment of the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (PESU),” thus said Agusan del Norte Governor Erlpe John Amante during his State of the Province Address (SOPA) held here recently.

Highlighting his administration’s accomplishments in health services, Gov. Amante said the province has attained national health recognition for the local support health facilities. “All Regional Health Units (RHUs) are Out-Patient Benefit (OPB) package accredited. Two National Care Package accredited RHUs and five TB DOTS Center are PhilHealth accredited,” he said.

During the year-end review, the governor reported that the Provincial Hospital was able to serve 71,962 patients. “This figure is above the benchmark bed capacity for tertiary hospitals. To expand hospital services, our mobile hospital also rendered a total of 7,486 medical, dental and surgical outreach programs for far-flung areas,” Gov. Amante said.

Also, in the same year, the provincial government was able to provide Php 6.9 million as a counterpart fund for the PhilHealth Universal Coverage of 5,960 families. As a result, 2,896 member patients were served in the provincial hospital and in return, the province received a total of Php 16.1 million in reimbursements or what is known as the Capitation Fund from the PhilHealth, it was gathered.

Further, Gov. Amante presented that the health outreach program saw the increase of the Botika ng Barangay (BnB). As of 2009, 56 BnBs were already operating throughout the province. Seven of these BnBs have already met the national target ratio of 1:2 barangay.

“We are also happy to report that these village level pharmacies have posted an aggregate Return on Investment of 42%. For this, three outlets were awarded Best Performing Botika ng Barangay,” the governor said.

The accomplishments presented by Gov. Amante are among his administration’s thrusts in combating poverty which is one of the biggest problems that the country is facing at present, although Agusan del Norte is not included in the list of the poorest provinces nationwide. (PIA-Caraga)


Agusan del Norte declassified from Malaria “A” to “B”

By: Robert E. Roperos

BUTUAN CITY (21 June) – With its effort to strengthen health services in the 10 municipalities and one city, the provincial government of Agusan del Norte has been declassified from Malaria “A” to Malaria “B”, which means that now, there are only below 500 cases of malaria found, comparing to the previous number of cases which is higher than 500.

“The province’s Annual Parasitic Incidence (API) for Malaria also decreased from 3.15/1,000 population to 0.62/1,000 population resulting to the declassification of Agusan del Norte as Malaria “A” to Malaria “B” province (below 500 cases),” Gov. Erlpe John Amante said recently.

According to Gov. Amante, the significant reduction of malaria in the province is credited to the establishment of screening centers in strategic locations and the professionalism and dedication of its health workers.

“Massive treatment was a strategy we adopted to get rid of these eradicable diseases as we heed the call for its global elimination. Many figures have been decreasing including the positivity rate for Tuberculosis which was 18.6% in 2008 but has lowered to 16.67% in 2009. Our cure rate was 92.7% of those diagnosed,” he said.

Also, Amante said the provincial government has started to improve its main health facility by upgrading and rehabilitating of the Provincial Hospital as well as enhancing its diagnostic capability with the acquisition of the state-of-the-art medical and laboratory equipment, combining a cost of Php 13 million.

The access to safe water is another significant indicator for healthy families and with the implementation of additional 125 small and medium scale water system projects costing Php 2.6 million, 94% of all households in the province has already access to safe potable water. “We are certain the gap is closed before the end of my term,” Gov. Amante assures.

In terms of food security, the province was able to ensure that the constituents’ staple food of rice and corn are maintained in sufficient quantities. The NFA procured at prices advantageous to the farmers over 27,755 cavans of rice and 1,924 cavans of corn. “Also some 7,382 bags of certified seeds were distributed to farmers,” Gov. Amante said. (PIA-Caraga)