SMFI transforms barangay health station to a full-blown RHU in Antipolo City

 

By Rose de la Cruz

 

The SM Foundation Inc. renovated and transformed a simple barangay health station in Antipolo City into a full-blown rural health unit (RHU) III that has expanded services and facilities needed by a bustling top-ranked city (among component cities) in the country.

 

SMFI Executive Director Connie Angeles, for health and wellness, headed the SM Group’s local retail chain in turning over the newly-renovated RHU III to local government officials led by Antipolo Mayor Casimiro Ynares III and Barangay Bagong Nayon newly-reelected Captain Larry Onza and city health officials led by Dra. Concepcion Garcia Lat.

 

RHU III will service at least five barangays in the main Antipolo, including the slum areas of the predominantly middle-class community. (Antipolo City is divided into upper, lower and main Antipolo).

 

What used to be just a 350-sq.m. facility with the basic diagnostic, maternal (pre and post- natal care chck-ups) and immunization (every Wednesday) barangay health station was transformed into a 2-storey 990-sq.m. spacious and well-equipped rural health unit that would service not just Barangay Bagong Nayon but also other barangays in the main jurisdiction of Antipolo. (The city was divided into three jurisdictions—the upper Antipolo, lower Antipolo and the main Antipolo).

 

The RHU—which is now seeking accreditation with the Department of Health and the Philhealth as well as with the Lung Center of the Philippines for its TB-DOTS (directly observed treatment short course and screening) operations—is already preparing to diversify and expand the health services, manpower and equipment to better cope with the needs of the people, said Dra. Lat.

 

Now the RHU can provide all the previous services plus dental checks and tooth extraction, family planning, drug testing and treatment, pharmacy for hypertension, diabetes, tuberculosis and even infectious diseases, maternity care benefit packages and primary care. It can also offer specialized services and programs that a premier health center provides such as Barangay Nutrition Scholar section program for teens and adolescents, smoking cessation clinic, diabetes and hypertensive clinic, among others.

 

The two-story facility also has Felicidad T. Sy wellness centers for children (at the second floor) and the elderly (at the ground floor). It also now has a labor room (with beds) and breastfeeding station with a refrigerator to store the breast milk of mothers and health staff (a first for the SMFI renovation program).

 

The Foundation also provided waiting lounges, fans, toys and books for children at the children’s wellness center, a television that would feature programs on diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, how to quit smoking and family planning and separate toilets for men and women and a full (long) cabinet for the records of the RHU.  

 

The center now also has a labor, delivery room and recovery rooms (that would run for 24 hours seven days a week), midwives’ room (for trained midwives and trained obstetricians and pediatric consultation room.

 

Ynares asked the city health staff to provide their patients with the best care because the success of hospitals and health facilities lies in their hands. “It’s easy to build new hospitals and get new equipment but, in the end, it is in the amount of dedicated (uncomplaining) service that you will give to the patients that would bring success to the health facilities.”

 

He said he himself came from the medical field and is aware that doctors and nurses work so hard often without eating, sleeping or even adequate rest.

 

“However, it was you who chose to be in that practice and in government service so don’t complain or ignore the needs and sufferings of your patients,” Ynares said.

 

Angeles said SMFI will take care of the maintenance of the facility to ensure that it would continue operating in good condition.

 

 

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