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(Clockwise) Handicrafts made of indigenous materials were set up on display during the Regional IP Summit in Iloilo City; DOH RO VI staff sign in the pledge of commitment; and the ceremonial distribution of PhilHealth's Member Data Record.


THE Department of Health-Regional Office VI (DOH-RO VI) held recently the Regional Summit on Indigenous Peoples’ Health Care at Punta Villa Resort, Iloilo City. The activity was in partnership with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) which aimed to discuss the salient provisions of the Joint Memorandum Circular Number 2013-01 or the Guidelines on the Delivery of Basic Health Services for Indigenous Cultural Communities (ICC) or Indigenous Peoples (IP).

The JMC 2013-01 underlines the health strategic plans for the IPs/ ICCs and promotes a culture-sensitive and safe basic health services to IPs.

The Summit was highlighted by PhilHealth Regional Office VI’s ceremonial distribution of Member Data Record (MDR) to IPs from Jordan Guimaras and the creation of an IP-Regional Inter-agency Committee (RIAC) headed by the NCIP to look into issues and concerns affecting the IPs.

Orientations on Republic Act 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act (IPRA) of 1997 and the FPIC or the Free, Prior and Informed Consent were discussed by Atty. Princess Mae Oral and Atty. Hermie Jun Toledo of the NCIP.

The Kati-Kati Ati Youth Organization (KAYO) from Guimaras province gave color to the activity with their cultural presentation mixed with today’s popular music.

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SM Foundation turned over 479 disaster kits to the Department of Health-Regional Office VI on October 2, 2015 as part of its corporate social responsibility along disaster preparedness.

Each disaster kit has a Sureaid emergency blanket, a 300 ml bottled water, flashlight, whistle and face masks – all essentials when disasters strike.

Michael Cecilio Gallardo, Assistance Branch Manager of SM City-Iloilo and Delgado Stores led the donation at the DOH RO VI Compound. Dr. Marlyn W. Convocar received the donations along with Delia Tarrosa, chief of the Regulation, Licensing and Enforcement Division, and Nona Belvis-Manzon, chief of the Management Services Division. Also present during the turnover was Rosely Tamesis of SM Iloilo Department Store (left photo, far left).

BHW pic


SUSTAINING its efforts of capacitating frontline health workers in the grassroots, the Department of Health- Regional Office VI turned over the Barangay Health Workers’ (BHW) Reference Manual and Pocket Handbook (Towards Effective Service Provision and Improved Health Outcomes) to BHW provincial presidents and coordinators in Western Visayas. The turnover capped the two-day orientation on the Manual’s contents held September 22-23, 2015 in Iloilo City.

The DOH recognizes the important roles that BHWs play in support of primary health care service delivery: as advocates of current health programs; as educators who advise and counsel the community; the link between local professional health workers and their catchment households; and record keepers of health data, activities and events in the community.

With these roles, BHWs are expected to know the concepts of DOH’s priority programs such as the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and Nutrition (MNCHN), Reproductive Health (RH), Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF), Garantisadong Pambata (GP), communicable and non-communicable diseases, and healthy lifestyle.

For them to deliver their role more efficiently, the DOH produced the Reference Manual as their guide on what to say, what to do and where to refer clients in the community for appropriate services.

It also uses latest DOH Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials as well as recording and reporting forms.

BHWs in the region will be provided with the Manual and Pocket Handbook.

DOH data shows that there are more than 22,000 BHWs in Region VI.


THE school-based immunization program being conducted by the Department of Health (DOH) this month of August aims to protect the future of today’s youth from contagious diseases such as measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria.

Grades 1 and 7 students in all public schools nationwide will be given free vaccines to boost their immune system. In Region VI, more than 337,000 Grades 1 and 7 students will receive vaccines for measles, rubella, tetanus and diphtheria.

The school-based immunization program is a follow-up to the Measles Containing Vaccine (MCV) immunization of under-five years old children aged 9-59 months. DOH records show that measles surveillance data since the mass immunization in September 2014, which targeted under-five children, showed that majority of cases are now over five years old. Many of these children are either unvaccinated or did not receive two doses of measles containing vaccine. They were born before the second dose of measles was included in the routine immunization service and they may have missed the 2004, 2007, and 2011 measles immunization campaign.

The DOH said this catch-up immunization aims to interrupt current measles transmission in this older population. Tetanus and diphtheria (Td) was added to provide booster immunity against tetanus and diphtheria.

The school-based immunization is conducted by the DOH in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).


Clockwise: DOH RO VI personnel monitor the National School Deworming activity; pupils at Valencia Elementary School in Miagao, Iloilo partake of the school’s feeding program prior to the deworming activity; and teachers with DepEd and LGU health workers help administer the deworming tablets to pupils at Miagao Central Elementary School.


The Department of Health Regional Office VI (DOH RO VI) recorded a total of 946,210 children aged five to 12 years old who joined the National School Deworming Day (NSDD) on July 29, 2015.

The de-worming activity was held simultaneously in all public elementary schools in coordination with the Department of Education (DepEd) and local government units (LGUs).

The overall goal of the DOH’s Integrated Helminth Control Program through the NSDD was to scale up the deworming effort to reduce soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH) prevalence rate to 20% by ensuring a high mass drug administration coverage of at least 85%.

Based on several studies, STH can cause poor physical growth, poor intellectual development and impaired cognitive functions in children. This can also result to anemia and malnutrition not only on children but also in women of child-bearing age.

The highest intensity of infection has been documented among children aged one to 12 years old. Pre-school children aged one to four years old suffer the greatest morbidity while school-aged children aged five to 12 years old harbor the greatest load of infection.

Given the relatively high prevalence of STH infections among children in the country, the Integrated Helminth Control Program was established by DOH to implement the deworming activity simultaneously nationwide.

There were three launching sites identified for the NSDD in Region VI. These were Guihaman Buntatala Elementary School in Leganes, Iloilo; Hinigaran I Central Elementary School in Hinigaran, Negros Occidental; and Atabay Elementary School in San Jose, Antique.

Region VI posted 82.14% coverage of children dewormed during the NSDD out of the 1,151,885 total enrollees in all public elementary school in the region.