No one is left without quality healthcare!
SM Foundation and UNIQLO’s partnership pave the way for the renovation of Pulilan RHU 1 and 2. The upgrade of these two health facilities centers on SM Foundation’s mission: help community health centers by providing adequate facilities & equipment to improve medical care, especially in rural areas.
According to the 2017 National Demographic Health Survey (NDHS), Filipinos continue to count on public medical facilities, such as public hospitals, rural health units, or barangay health stations, for their healthcare treatments.
The NDHS showed that the majority of parents whose children had fever, diarrhea, or acute respiratory infection sought advice or treatment from public healthcare facilities. These facilities are also the most common source of contraceptives. Beyond this, public health facilities have been an active platform for vaccination and other key health programs.
But despite their vital role, the facilities are hindered from functioning at their full potential by a multitude of challenges, such as deficiency of facility infrastructure, and lack of strategic medical equipment and supplies.
Providing services that the community deserves
Just north of Metro Manila stands the Rural Health Unit (RHU) III of Baliwag City. The facility is one of the RHUs recently upgraded by the SM group through the SM Foundation’s partnership with UNIQLO Philippines.
The RHU serves 300 patients daily (on average). The majority are from low-income households from 8 barangays, where three are the biggest in the city. The number does not include COVID-19 vaccinations, family planning services, medicine and prescription refills, and requests for medical and death certificates.
“Bukod sa may mga anay, ang mga pintura ay nagba-bakbakan. Ang mga pinto at ceiling namin ay sira or may mga crack. Kailangan na talagang i-renovate dahil marami nang sira,” RHU III midwife Rebecca Galves shared the previous state of their center.
Aside from the damage that comes from daily use, the RHU’s layout wasn’t optimized to fit documents, medical tools and equipment, and necessary furniture. Patients had to sit close to each other during checkups and consultations, limiting workers’ efficiency and patients’ privacy and safety.
“Dahil masikip dito sa loob, hindi namin kayang i-accommodate lahat ng pasyente. Unang una, hindi dapat maging crowded sa pasilidad dahil tayo ay nasa pandemic pa—kailangan pa rin ng social distancing. Kaya ang mga pasyente namin ay kadalasang naghihintay sa initan sa labas. Kapag umuulan, nababasa sila,” she recalled.
“Bukod sa marami kaming kagamitan at documents na hindi na magkasya sa mga cabinets, sa isang kwarto, tatlong kama pa ang nakalagay. At dahil masikip, minsan, ang waste products ay nasa ilalim na ng kama. Hindi namin maibigay ang komportableng kapaligiran at ang serbisyong gusto sana naming maihatid,” she added. For her, the renovation of the center done by the SM Foundation could not have come at a better time. Now, she can finally deliver the medical help she has long hoped to give the community—a service people deserve.
With renewed fervor, midwife Rebecca Galves fixes the maternity bed inside Baliwag RHU III.
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