By KIMBERLIE NGABIT-QUITASOL / Photos by DIVINE LORAINE PEÑAFLOR
LACUB, Abra — Doctors, medical students and community health workers once again brought free medical service to Lacub, Abra as part of the Justice for Lacub campaign.
Karina Limcangco of the Community Health Development (CHD) said a total of 347 Lacub folk received free medical check up and medicine. She said the common diseases encountered include cough and colds, osteoarthritis, acute gastritis, joint and back pain, hypertension, thyroid related diseases, allergies and asthma among others.
She said that there were cases of suspected urinary tract infection (UTI) which could not be concluded because no laboratory test can be conducted immediately for the lack of equipment.
Limcangco said empowering community health workers of Lacub would help improve the health care system of the town. She said the conduct basic trainings for the community health workers on acupuncture, cardio pulmonary resuscitation, reflexology, emergency medicine management, proper nutrition, sanitation and basic use of medical devices (Nebulizer, 3-in-Easy touch meter, BP app, UTI dipsticks) would be helpful. She added that the conduct of patient education on rational drug use, use of medicinal plants or alternative medicines available in the surroundings is also helpful.
Limcangco said that more health practitioners should be encouraged to serve in the communities. She also told the medical students from the University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center to draw inspiration from the plight of the people of Lacub to finish their studies and pass the board examinations to be able to serve more people.
“We hope that the day would come when we no longer have to conduct medical missions because health care services would be accessible to everyone,” Limcangco said.
Marc Mendiola of the Community Health Education Services and Trainings in the Cordillera Region (Chestcore) said health education is also part of the medical mission. He said they gave basic healthcare training to help the people manage the common diseases in their community even after the mission ends.
Imelda Tabiando, secretary general of the Cordillera Human Rights Alliance (CHRA), said the medical mission last December 17 to 18 at Poblacion, Lacub, Abra is part of the continuing justice campaign for the seven New People’s Army (NPA) rebels and two civilians killed in a military operation last September 2014. She said the mission was a result of the concerted efforts of families of the victims, Community Health Development (CHD), Community Health Education Services and Trainings in the Cordillera Region (Chestcore), Tulbek (people’s organization of Lacub) and the local government of Lacub.
Tabiando said the families of the two civilians killed continue to demand for justice just as the families of the slain NPA rebels are demanding justice for the torture and brutal killing of their kin. She said that the remains of the slain rebels bore signs of torture and some are even mutilated which were validated by the autopsy reports of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Tabiando said that everybody has the right to accessible health care services, which many Filipinos like the Lacub folk are deprived of. “Access to proper healthcare services is a struggle for the people of Lacub just as they struggle against poverty and militarization,” she said. # nordis.net