P2M in neonatal equipment donated-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
NEWBORN babies suffering from infantile jaundice or hypothermia may now get effective treatment with the recent turnover of P2-million worth of neonatal machines to the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
BGHMC pediatrics head Dr. Eleanor Cuarte said in the past, she has seen many infant mortalities due to the lack of these equipment, which are hard to procure considering some 7,000 babies are born in the hospital, some 1,500 babies are often high risk patients or sick.
But with the recent turnover of the low-cost and durable neonatal equipment, Cuarte said they are given the chance to take care of babies better and give them better chances of survival being the third hospital in the country to have the equipment.
The BGHMC last Friday officially received the equipment made possible through the donation of P1 million from the Priority Development Assistance Fund of Representative Bernardo Vergara and donations made through the Breath of Life program of the East Meets West Foundation.
With some $80,000 funding from the Lemelson Foundation and in collaboration with medical engineering Medical Technology Trans Service and local nonprofit partner Consuelo Foundation, East Meets West Foundation have been assisting hospitals such as Jose Fabella and the Philippine General Hospital.
East meets West Foundation country representative Dr. Dan Fitzpatrick said their Breath of Life program provides innovatively designed respiratory therapy machines, phototherapy devices that alleviate infantile jaundice and infant warmers that help preterm babies suffering from hypothermia.
Fitzpatrick said they have trained a doctor and nurse team in Hanoi, Vietnam for hands-on familiarization with the equipment and observe program operation in hospitals there. He said they are sending technicians from Vietnam to install and observe performance of the machines here.
With the new equipment, the hospital will be able to cater to the needs of premature babies suffering from hypothermia, infection, provide ventilatory support and other treatment, he said.
BGHMC chief of hospital Dr. Manuel Factora said that with their limited budget for purchasing new equipment, they have to rely from donations from non-government organizations and donations from government officials.
Representative Vergara said he will evaluate the equipment to give additional funding for the needs of the BGHMC aside from the yearly P2 million budget he allocates for indigent patients.
The procurement of the neonatal equipment for BGHMC was also facilitated by the help of University of the Cordilleras board of trustee Ray Dean Salvosa.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 21, 2012.