CITY Councilor Elaine Sembrano has introduced a proposed Ordinance that
would adopt measures and systems to guarantee the effective and efficient implementation of blindness prevention programs in the City of Baguio.
In her proposal councilor Sembrano cited statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) which estimated that there are about 8 million people that are blind with 80% or 6.4 million coming from China, Vietnam and the Philippines. She also pointed out in her proposed measure that a 2002 Philippine National Survey of Blindness it was found out that there are about 3.5 million Filipinos who are visually impaired in either one or both eyes.
The proposed Ordinance further bared that based on findings from the Department of Health, among the main causes of blindness, cataract which account for more than half (50%) and up to 80% of all blindness in adults is preventable or treatable while among children. The DOH further reported that the major causes of avoidable blindness include cataract, refractive errors, glaucoma, low vision, retinopathy or prematurity and corneal scarring. Based on the above councilor Sembrano noted in his proposal that a greater percentage of the burden of blindness is from the economically marginalized sector of the society due to limited access to eye health care services and that there is Department of Health Administrative Order 2013-0010 which is the implementation of the Prevention of Blindness Program and recommending the strengthening of the Primary Eye Care service to reduce preventable blindness.
Under the said proposed Ordinance, it shall be the policy of the city government to support and ensure the implementation of Prevention of Blindness Programs and the engagement of all health care facilities for a coordinated primary eye care service delivery network, community mobilization and sustained collaboration with other stakeholders in the City of Baguio. Furthermore the proposed Ordinance also provides to make available in all health centers in the City of Baguio, facilities, equipment and services for the implementation of the government’s prevention of blindness programs and primary eye care services and the provision of appropriate training for personnel on Primary Eye Care Services.
Finally, in the event of the its approval the proposed measure shall establish a City Eye Health Task Force that will formulate, as one of its functions, a City Community Eye Health Services Plan in accordance with DOH AO 2013-0010 to include among others, training and capacity building activities for eye health services workers as well as mechanisms for program monitoring, evaluation and feedback.
On the other hand the once the measure is approved the City Health Services Office shall be the lead office in the implementation of the provisions of the proposed Ordinance, as well as the City Community Eye Care Services Plan in coordination with the Department of Health.