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Committee on IP Health hauls medical, dental services for IPs of Talaingod

DAVAO DEL NORTE (PIA) - - The Regional Interagency Committee on Indigenous People’s (IP) Health (RIAC-IPH) recently conducted its  activity dubbed as IP-GIDA (Indigenous Peoples in Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area) Medical and Dental Outreach and Immersion in barangays Dagohoy and Palma Gil in the IP town of Talaingod.

Led by the Department of Health-Center for Health Development (DOH CHD) XI, the  activity brought together  medical practitioners from the Davao Regional Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center  (SPMC), the Davao del Norte Police Provincial Office (DNPPO), the Philippine National Police (PNP),   the Department of Education.

Other participating agencies are the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) XI, Provincial Health Office (PHO) of Davao del Norte, Municipal Health Office (MHO) of Talaingod, National Commission on Indigenous  Peoples (NCIP), Philippine Army, and Philippine Airforce, among others.

“This is interagency or whole of the nation approach. This is also related to the effort to ended local insurgency or the ELCAC (ending local communist armed conflict) to sustain what President Duterte started.” said Jinky Espino, DOH IP-GIDA regional coordinator.“

Espino explained that the medical and dental outreach in the two barangays of Talaingod is anchored on the mandate of DOH to make government health services accessible to all especially to residents of far-flung areas.

“Ito ang katotohan lalo na sa mga kapatid nating IP sa GIDA na hindi nila makakayanan magpunta sa mga health facilities na nanduon ang mga serbisyong lubos nila kinakailangan (This is the truth that our IP brethren in the GIDA can  hardly afford to reach the health facilities where they can find the services they badly needed),” she said.

“Ang RIACIPH,  gusto nito na tutulong sa gobyerno na mapa-aabot sa ating mga kapatid na IP na nandito ang gobyerno always willing tutulung (The RIAC-IHP wants to help the government tell that it is always willing to help),” Espino added.

The DOH RIAC-IPH team spent their first day on July 27 at the  Barangay Center of Brgy Dagohoy, where hundreds availed of dental extraction, ophthalmology check up; pediatric, family medicine, and dermatology consultation  and check-up; and minor surgery including child circumcision.

The team proceeded to Palma Gil the following day, July 28, hauling the same services with medicine.

In support to the medical and dental outreach, the Humanitarian Organization for Engagement (HOPE) Kababaihan lent a hand during the activity, as its members prepared meals for the working team while also encouraging women to do what they could to help.

In a separate interview, HOPE Kababaihan organizer Hope Mendoza shared her  personal commitment to help residents in far-flung communities especially the IP communities.

“Whatever we can to our ‘ka-tribo’ (fellow tribe), not because they are minority pero sila man gud ang walay access sa  medical  attention (but they the ones who have no access to medical attention), we have to do it” she told PIA.

“Having this kind of activity sa mga ingon ani nga lugar, dako  kaayo nga alibyo para sa ilaha especially nibaktas pa ug layo kaayo (in areas like this is a great relief for them especially that they have walked their way from far places),” she said.

Fondly called as “mamu,” Mendoza also called on all women to extend a helping hand to help others.

“You  don’t have to be somebody powerful or rich to be able to extend help.. kung naa ta compassion and the passion to really help,  everything is possible and with the  help of the Lord,”  she said. (JMDA/ PIA Davao del Norte)

About the Author

Jeanevive Abangan

Deputy Regional Head

Region 11

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