Zuellig, UNICEF link to build resilient health sector in Samar

March 18, 2015 6:03 am 

TACLOBAN CITY, March 17 — The Department of Health (DOH) continues to strengthen local health systems along the super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) corridor in Eastern Visayas, noting the low level of resilience of health workforce and infrastructure.

Through the help of the Zuellig Family Foundation and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), local health systems in selected Samar towns are being strengthened to become more resilient. Under this initiative, local government units, health workers and communities are prepared to ensure that risks and impacts are zero to minimal before, during, and after a disaster.

Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) has been working towards improving this leadership and governance in areas pummeled by the December 2013 catastrophe to enhance capabilities and making health systems resilient.

Some 11 towns from Samar and Eastern Samar provinces are now undergoing the “Evidence-based Planning for Resilient Local Health Systems” workshop to improve their health system resilience as well as be able to deliver critical services during a disaster and rehabilitate following such event.

As their key output, the LGUs are expected to come up with their respective health emergency preparedness response and recovery plan (HEPRRP), at the end of the three-day workshop.

According to Marilou Suplido, project coordinator of the ZFF resilient local health system project team, “to be resilient is to ensure that local governments will be able to reduce vulnerabilities.

“The local government will be able to reduce inequities in any post-disaster situation, by putting in place resilient and responsive development programs that would not only address health concerns, but also social protection, education, livelihood and incomes.”

Meanwhile, DOH-8 assistant regional director Paula Paz Sydiongco pointed out that the LGUs' output for this workshop is very important as these will become pilot or model plans for the rest of the towns in the region.

“Where before we failed to prepare, we now have to prepare our health workers and infrastructure to ensure that risks and impacts are zero to minimal before, during, and after a disaster,” Sydiongco said. (PNA)

LAP/SQM/AHLETTE C. REYES/EGR/EDS

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