The Negros Oriental State University (NORSU) together with the municipality of Zamboanguita launched school-on-the air dubbed “Tulunghaan sa Kahanginan: Para sa Gulayan ng Bayan,” to instill the value of vegetable farming, eating healthy and address malnutrition problem in the community.
The distance learning program over local radio station 98.5 Radyo Kaigsoonan maintained by the National Nutrition Council (NNC) will share the latest farming techniques in planting vegetables and fruits every Saturday.
This extension project is a product of research conducted by NORSU team led by Dr. Marlyn Macapangal to raise the level of public awareness on the government’s programs and projects geared toward food sufficiency.
Through this collaborative effort, Dr. Macapangal said they expect to reach the more than 1,000 Pantawid Pamilya recipients in the town as target beneficiary-listeners who will be provided with radio sets by the local government of Zamboanguita.
Mayor Glenson Alanano of Zamboanguita said the program of NORSU hopes to address the malnutrition problem in the town which holds the second-highest malnutrition rate in the province.
“The municipality plans to allocate funds worth P200,000 for the purchase of radio sets to be distributed to the 4Ps beneficiaries for them to listen or pay attention to while cultivating the farm on the sequence of a radio program that present agricultural subject matters,” Alanano said.
The municipality will also provide 3,000 square meters of lot for the demo farm.
On the economic side, the NORSU team also hopes to increase the demand for vegetables to help local vegetable farmers, as well as to augment the income of the target participants.
Dr. Angelo Neil Electona, Municipal Health Officer of Zamboanguita, said the LGU has supplied fresh milk for supplemental milk feeding for the identified malnourished children in the recipient barangays.
Health officials here are appealing for cooperation from parents as the Department of Health (DOH) embarks on a house-to-house and school-based immunization campaign for children in Negros Oriental.
In a Kapihan sa PIA forum, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Socrates Villamor said the move is DOH-7’s response to address the high number of measles cases in Central Visayas which is included in the list of regions where measles outbreak have been declared.
Villamor said local chief executives in the province have been informed about the program while DOH-7 will coordinate with the Department of Education (DepEd-7) for the issuance of a joint memorandum for the conduct of the school-based immunization program in elementary schools.
The house-to-house measles immunization program targets six to 59-months-old infants while the school-based immunization program will target grade 1 to grade 6 students.
Villamor shared one benefit of allowing children to receive anti-measles vaccine.
“We need to achieve 95 percent immunization coverage aron naa tay gitawag na ‘herd immunity.’ Ang katong mga tawo, mga bata na dili ma-immunize kay naa sila mga condition, kung naa tay ‘herd immunity,’ kana sila ma-cover na pod sila apil nato. Mao gyud nang among gi-target para naa tay coverage sa tanan. (We need to achieve 95 percent immunization coverage so we can attain what we call ‘herd immunity.’ If we have this, those individuals or children who can’t be immunized because of certain conditions, they will also be covered. This is what we are aiming for so all of us can be protected),” said Villamor.
DOH defines herd immunity as a type of immunity that occurs when the vaccination of the portion of the population provides protection to unprotected individuals.
The department’s Manual of Procedure for Surveillance and Response to Adverse Events Following Immunization (AEFI) states “this theory proposes that diseases passed from an individual to another makes it difficult to maintain a chain of infection when the large number of population are immune.”
Dumaguete City Health Officer Ma. Sarah Talla disclosed that based on their investigation on measles cases last year, they found out that the first few cases occurred among adults and this allegedly came from transients.
Talla underscored that the best way to prevent the spread of measles infection is to have children take the anti-measles vaccines.
“Karon nag-house-to-house na pod ang mga health worker para magpabakuna. Maghangyo kita sa mga ginikanan na kung moadto na ang mga health workers, pabakunahan gayud ang inyong mga anak. Ang pagbakuna is the best prevention na dili makakuha ug measles (Right now our health workers are visiting houses to give vaccines. We would like to appeal to the parents to allow their children take these vaccines when they visit their homes. Immunization is the best way to prevent measles),” Talla emphasized.
Based on records of the City Health Office (CHO), there are four confirmed measles cases in the city in 2017, which rose to 30 in 2018.
As of today, there are six suspected cases reported to DOH since January.
Dr. Talla said they will verify this since they only have once case recorded.
On the other hand, figures from DOH Provincial Office show that from the January until Feb. 16 this year, there are 65 reported cases of measles recorded in Negros Oriental with seven confirmed cases and no deaths.
This is 364 percent higher compared to the same period last year which is at 14 cases with zero deaths recorded.
Assistant Provincial Health Officer Liland Estacion noted that DOH launched a Supplemental Immunization Activity (SIA) in Negros Oriental during the last quarter of 2018 but it only covered around 57 percent of children aged zero to 59 months old in the province.
In line with this, Estacion said Gov. Roel Degamo has directed her office to intensify their immunization program through the strategy identified by the DOH.
“As of the moment we are releasing vaccines to all the RHUs,” Estacion said.
The local officials assured that the vaccines provided by DOH are safe and called on the parents to take advantage on the free immunization program for kids.
A P10.7 million satellite hospital will be established in Barangay Talay, this city.
This is to be funded by the Department of Health (DOH) and to be equipped and staffed by the city government here.
The new health facility will cater to the medical needs of the city’s underserved barangays namely Talay, Junob, Balugo, Candau-ay, Cantil-e and Bajumpandan as well as the residents in Valencia and Bacong towns.
Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo and City Health Officer Maria Sarah B. Talla will lead the ground breaking ceremony today with local government officials and officers of the DOH to signal the start of the construction of the satellite hospital at the City Farmstead.
This will be the third new hospital in Dumaguete City for the next four years.
The first two hospitals nearing completion are the 250-bed ACE Dumaguete Doctors Hospital in Brgy. Daro and the Negros Polymedic Hospital in Sibulan town to accommodate additional 150 beds.
Remollo is also eyeing the construction of a fire substation, evacuation center, and police substation to bring basic social services closer to the barangays.