THE year 2023 has been marked by substantial achievements in healthcare services for Iloilo City.
Anchored on Mayor Jerry Treñas’ development roadmap from three years ago, the Iloilo City Government through the City Health Office (CHO) carried out health-related programs and initiatives to promote a healthier and more resilient community for the Ilonggos.
Dr. Annabelle Tang, head of CHO, has highlighted one of the major accomplishments this year, the completion of the bigger Uswag Dialysis Center 2 in Barangay San Isidro, Jaro.
The newly established facility provides free treatment to more indigent patients battling chronic kidney disease and costly clinic or hospital fees reinforcing the services offered by the first Uswag Dialysis Center in Barangay East Baluarte, Molo district.
Likewise, from a temporary molecular laboratory, a newly-constructed and bigger Iloilo City Uswag Molecular Laboratory in Barangay San Pedro, Molo is now serving the Ilonggos.
It is a Level 2 bio-safety facility with molecular testing machines and equipment.
This facility, currently headed by Annabelle Rosario Blancaflor, has been accredited by DOH, and recognized by the agency's Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM), garnering 100 percent quality assurance rating.
Blancaflor said it initially focuses on Covid-19 testing, but the same equipment can also be used to test for other diseases and ailments.
Just recently, the molab has been hailed by the Department of Health (DOH) as one of the Top 10 Best Performing Organizations with Exemplary Best Practices Award at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This recognition is a testament of the City Government’s unwavering commitment and relentless efforts that greatly contributed to the Covid-19 Laboratory Network and in response to the health needs of the public.
The temporary molab, meantime, will be converted into the Uswag Iloilo City Clinical Laboratory and Diagnostics Center, with construction scheduled to commence in the first quarter of 2023.
The diagnostic center will house ultrasound, electrocardiogram (ECG), and X-ray machines, as well as facilitate routine blood tests like Complete Blood Count (CBC) and blood chemistry, including Fasting Blood Sugar (FBS), cholesterol, uric acid, Serum Glutamic Pyruvic Transaminase (SGPT), screening for diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).
These services will be accessible to indigent city residents at significantly reduced fees compared to private health facilities.
Also, to bring healthcare services closer to the community, the City Government successfully obtained accreditation from the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) for all five district health centers located in Molo, Mandurriao, Sto. Rosario, Jaro 1, and Bo. Obrero.
This accreditation allows these health centers to provide the Konsulta primary health care package.
Additionally, the services offered by Sto. Rosario Animal Bite Center will expand to La Paz and Mandurriao health centers.
District pharmacies are planned to be established starting this year at Molo, Mandurriao, Sto. Rosario, Jaro 1, and Bo. Obrero health centers, in addition to the one being set-up at the CHO in City Hall.
To guide the City Government in the procurement of specific medicines and other related matters, a Pharmaceutical Committee has been established as a policy-making body.
To alleviate hospital occupancy, a Mega Health Center will be constructed in Arevalo district with assistance from the Department of Health (DOH).
This facility will offer various hospital equipment and services, including birthing, laboratory services, TB-DOTs, animal bite center, and dental services.
Adjacent to the Mega Health Center, a separate building will accommodate another dialysis center.
The city residents' dream hospital, the five-storey Level 2 Iloilo City Hospital and the Medical Arts Building (MAB), is currently under construction in Barangay San Pedro, all ready to provide medical services to the Ilonggos once completed.
The City Government is also establishing its own Stroke Rehab Center in Barangay Taal, Molo, which is awaiting the procurement of necessary equipment.
The City Government is also actively addressing the mental health needs of residents through various programs and interventions under the Ginhawa 2.0 Program.
Aimed at providing proactive and effective solutions to mental health issues in the community, it has been re-launched and has already benefited thousands of Ilonggos.
Aside from Uswag Iloilo City Molecular Laboratory as Top Laboratory with Exemplary Best Practices Award, the CHO-Calumpang Birthing Center is a regional winner and national CSC Pagasa Award semi-finalist in the 2023 Search for Outstanding Government Workers (Group Category).
The Health Office was also hailed champion in the Advertising Making Contest during the Generics Awareness Month Celebration 2023.
A total of 10 more awards and citations from the DOH-6 was given to the City Government for the exemplary performance and outstanding contribution in achieving health program benchmarks and core objectives.
These include the recognition for achieving 2.56 percent donation rate of successful non-remunerated blood donors; for increasing psychosocial and mental well-being, and practicing self-care; for invaluable efforts in providing necessary support in the implementation of integrated non-communicable diseases control and prevention program; for the commitment and dedication in the implementation of the 2023 measles-rubella and bivalent Oral Polio VAccine Supplemental Immunization Activity (MR-bOPV SIA) Campaign and COVID-19 Vaccination; and for being a top performing LGU in reaching the target of 85 percent for the Tuberculosis Treatment Coverage Rate for 2022.
The CHO was also recognized for its exceptional dedication in the implementation of basic oral health care services and integrating oral health program for other public health initiatives.
Moreover, the Iloilo City Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (CESU) was further recognized for its steadfast commitment and support to advancing Public Health in Western Visayas through the innovative implementation of the ESS which serves as a catalyst for healthier and a more resilient community.
The CHO-FHSIS Unit, meantime, was also awarded for its unwavering support and commitment in the implementation of Field Health Services Information System (FHSIS).
The Jaro 1 Health Center got recognition for its outstanding performance and significant impact with 110.06 percent accomplishment during the MR-bOPV SIA through SEIR; while the Molo District Health Center received recognition for efficient and effective implementation of Electronic Medical Record in the facility in 2022. (PR)