IP residents of San Gabriel, La Union availed of the free consultation and medical services provided by the Department of Health – Ilocos Region during the “Bagong Pilipinas Para Sa Mga Katutubo” heath caravan held on October 26, 2023.
The Department of Health (DOH) – Ilocos Region successfully concluded its fourth health caravan for Indigenous Peoples (IPs) known as “Bagong Pilipinas Para Sa Mga Katutubo” with the theme ‘Healthy Pilipinas: Bawat Buhay Mahalaga Katutubong Pilipino Kasama Ka’, in San Gariel, a 4th class municipality of La Union and home to the Kankanaey tribe and where the most number of IPs are found in the province.
Regional Director Paula Paz M. Sydiongco thanked all the LGUs and partner agencies for extending their support and making the health caravan possible. “This initiative started last year as a small medical mission for IPs targeting those in GIDAs of Ilocos Sur, but with the support of our health partners and our LGUs, it has grown into a well-organized health activity that can provide more health services.”
“Ang layunin namin ay maibigay ang mga kinakailangang serbisyong pangkalusugan at masigurado ang kalusugan ng ating mga katutubo at katuwang naming ang mga LGUs na sumisigurong nailalapit ang mga serbisyong ito sa lahat ng sulok ng komunidad.”
Sydiongco also encouraged parents to avail of vaccination for their children. “Ang bakuna lamang po ang makapagbibigay ng proteksyon sa ating mga anak, kaya dalhin po natin sila sa ating mga health center upang mabakunahan,”
The health caravan provided check-ups/consultations, PhilPEN screening, dental services, ophthalmology services, hearing tests, minor surgery, cervical cancer screening, immunization services (HPV, flu vaccine), laboratory tests, and diabetic retinopathy screening with provision of reading glasses and kits for mental health, nutrition, and first aid kits.
Barangay health station packages consisting of a dressing cart, minor surgical set, mechanical bed, spine board, EENT (eyes, ears, nose, throat) diagnostic set, weighing scale with BMI calculator, weighing scale for infant, fetal doppler and examining table, medicine cabinet, and instrument cabinet were turned-over to Barangays Lipay Sur, Daking and Polipol of San Gabriel.
Scholarships to Allied Health Courses like pharmacy and medical technology were also offered to eligible IP beneficiaries.
Aside from the health services, the regional office also awarded the license to operate as Primary Care Facility (PCF) to San Gabriel Rural Health Unit.
Governor Raphaelle Veronica David-Ortega thanked the regional office for bringing primary care services to IPs of La Union and ensuring their health care needs are well taken care of.
A total of 1,200 beneficiaries were given health and medical services during the activity.
The health caravan for IPs was launched in Sison, Pangasinan and then in in Nueva Era, Ilocos Norte, Salcedo in Ilocos Sur and finally in San Gabriel, La Union.
The “Bagong Pilipinas Para Sa Mga Katutubo” health caravan was conducted through the support of the local government of San Gabriel, Provincial Government of La Union, Provincial Health Office of La Union, National Commission on Indigenous People, National Nutrition Council, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, La Union Medical Society, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Philippine National Police, Bureau of Fire Protection, Philippine Nurses Association – La Union Chapter, Philippine Pharmacists Association – La Union Chapter and the Philippine Information Agency