By DELIA BAGNI
BAGUIO CITY — Despite the claims of President Benigno Aquino III of progress in the public healthcare system, many communities still suffer for poor delivery of health care services like in Zinundungan Valley, Rizal town in Cagayan province.
Zinundungan Valley is composed of three barangays; Masi, San Juan and Bural. These barangays are home to the Aggays and Malawegs.
Mary Caliboso, the midwife assigned to the three barangays of Zinundungan Valley said the lack of health personnel, absence of adequate facilities, and difficulty in transportation make health care services inaccessible to far flung villages.
Caliboso is a resident of Bural and she is on call to her village folk and the adjacent villages.
Her village Bural is two hours from Masi and an hour away from San Juan by vehicle. The unpaved roads in these barangays can only be traversed by trucks, tractors and if the weather permits motorcycles.
The health center that caters to Zinundungan Valley is located in Barangay Poblacion, Rizal which is four hours drive away from San Juan. San Juan is the center of Zinundungan Valley.
The nearest health center to San Juan is in Lasam town which is two hours drive away or longer depending of the weather and type of vehicle used.
Caliboso said no doctor is assigned in Zinundungan but there are nurses assigned under the Nurse Deployment Program (NDPs). She said nurses under the said program should visit the barangays every quarter but in reality the nurses only reach the health center.
The midwife pointed out that unpaved roads leading to the barangays makes it difficult for health workers to provide health care services to the Aggays and Malawegs.
Caliboso further said the poor transportation system in the area coupled with financial difficulty makes it hard to implement the “No Home Birthing Policy” of the Department of Health. She said the program is good for pregnant women but the present socio economic situation in the valley make many women choose to give birth at home.
She said it would be difficult for pregnant women to go t the hospital earlier because most of them do not have relatives and could not afford to rent an apartment where they could stay in while waiting to give birth.
She recalled that just a week ago someone gave birth and suffered from infection. She said it was fortunate that the mother was immediately rushed to the hospital. The baby was fine as well. # nordis.net