Barangay Goaw is located around 8 km away from the center of the municipality, where the Rural Health Unit (RHU) and Liloy Integrated Health District Hospital (LIHDH) are situated. The distance from such facilities, unequipped barangay health station and lack of transport system in the community are the major barriers in health access especially during emergencies where prompt treatment is imperative. The lack of organized referral system in the community resulted in delays, which eventually resulted to medical complications, even death. Both could have been prevented if only immediate assessment, diagnosis and management were done.
The Barangay Health Workers (BHW) and Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) are trained individuals for first aid. They serve as responders for the barangay together with the Barangay Officials. The Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF), in coordination with the Philippine Red Cross, have spearheaded trainings on Basic Life Support and First Aid. However, such trainings become ineffective if not regularly conducted and if the skills are not put into practice. Also, knowledge alone is not enough; the lack of medical equipment and resources limited the help they can offer to those in need of emergency care.
The 4-year health plan, therefore, envisions not only to equip the response team with the knowledge and skills on emergency response, but also to provide financial allocation and political support that will ensure the sustainability of the project in the years to come.
· First Aid and BLS Training. In coordination with Philippine Red Cross Dipolog Chapter, the organized Barangay Health Emergency Response Team (BHERT) and Barangay Health Workers (BHWs) already underwent training on First Aid last October 2014. To prevent knowledge decay, a refresher course was done on September 27, 2016, where Basic Life Support (BLS) and basic first aid measures of common cases in the barangay were discussed. In addition, the Local Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Fund (LDRRMF) allocated financial support for yearly First Aid and BLS trainings among responders of each barangay in the municipality. The training yielded positive result with an increase in number of emergency responders with basic first aid and BLS knowledge and skills from 42.8% to 85.7%.
· “Emergency Tricycle (EmT)". It is intended to be the primary mode of transportation for trauma, obstetric and medical emergencies. This is a project proposed to the Local Government Unit (LGU) in solving two of the problems of the community when accidents and emergencies occur-- distance to the RHU/hospital and availability of transportation. Also known as Habal-Habal Ambulance by the locals, the EmT was patterned from the motorcycle ambulance advocated by the Federal Ministry of Health and was then modified by the Municipal Engineer in a way that can withstand rough terrain and narrow roads common in the community.
· Evaluation of responded and referred emergency cases. Equipped with knowledge and skills, the BHERT responds to the emergency cases in the barangay and provides proper documentation and referral to the next level of care. Headed by the barangay’s chairman on health, monthly monitoring of the recorded cases is done. In the month of October, 18 out of 18(100%) of the emergency case (17 medical, 1 obstetrics) in the barangay was properly recorded, responded and referred to the Rural Health Unit.
With the construction of the Emergency Tricycle (EmT), the problems on distance and lack of transportation for emergency cases were overcome. The Barangay Health Emergency Response Team will be able to provide quality care services for their constituents. With the regular trainings they receive from reputable organizations, it is assured that their knowledge and skills in basic first aid management will improve the primary health care services in the community.
Intended for municipal-wide adoption, the response and referral transport system in the barangay serves as a pilot study and will then undergo modifications depending on the outcome of its first year of implementation. Hence, the impact of the projects initiated in the barangay will not only benefit a small group of people but the municipality as a whole.