Operation Sagip

Operation Sagip Aids Mothers and Children in Health

Althea Cahayag
October 3, 2018

There’s something similar between Brgy. Yabon in the municipality of Hinabangan and Brgy. Malino in municipality of Jiabong in Samar. Aside from both are in one province, both do not have a clinic or a birthing facility.

Residents of both barangays need to travel around 45 minutes to an hour just to reach a birthing facility or the Rural Health Unit. Going to these places becomes harder because of unfinished roads and rough pavements. Transportation is also expensive as residents from Brgy. Yabon have to spend PHP75.00 ($1.40) to ride a habal – habal (single motorcycle), one way. It is risky for those who are pregnant. Some would just opt to walk for three to four hours.

According to Midwife Evelyn Abarracoso of Brgy. Yabon, they closely monitor the status of those who are pregnant because they do not have a birthing clinic. Once mothers are nearing their month of labor, they are required to go downtown and live with their relatives near the RHU. 

“Dati, iyong mga walang-wala, mga hindi makapunta sa Rural Health Unit kung saan may birthing facility, naaabutan sa bahay ang panganganak. Ngayon kasi, pinatigil na ang pagpapaanak sa bahay kasi hindi natin alam ang komplikasyon. Hindi lang naman sa umpisa. May mga komplikasyon kasi during the labor mismo or after ng 24-hour post-partum,” Abarracoso said. (Before, those who have no means to go to the Rural Health Unit where there is a birthing facility, labor at home. Now, home deliveries are stopped because of the complications it may lead to. Complications are not just at the beginning. Some take place during the labor itself or after the 24-hour post-partum.)

She also shared that they used to give immunization shots for children in covered courts. The same story goes in Brgy. Malino in Jiabong. 

To improve the situation, Operation Sagip recently turned over a Barangay Health Station with birthing facility in the two barangays. The medical and birthing equipment were also provided. The rooms are wide and well-lit, complete with electricity and water supply.

Barangay Health Station in Brgy. Yabon, Hinabangan, Samar

Barangay Health Station in Brgy. Malino, Jiabong, Samar

According to Marlene Mabini, the midwife of Brgy. Malino, their new BHS will benefit 3,202 people in seven barangays namely Brgy. Malino, San Fernando, San Miguel, Hinaga, Garcia, Candayao, and Hidanao. “Nagri-range po ng 14-20 ang nanganganak sa pitong barangay na ito,” Midwife Mabini said. (We have 14-20 birth deliveries recorded every month in these seven barangays.)

On the other hand, the BHS with birthing facility in Brgy. Yabon will benefit 2,048 residents in five barangays of Yabon, Binobucalan, Canano, Dalosdoson, Lim-ao, and Cabalagnan.

Captain Edwin Abanag of Bgry. Yabon said that people from the different barangays worked together to build the BHS. He pointed out that the residents helped in hauling the materials and took turns in working during the construction.

Captain Elizabeth Pabua of Brgy. Malino also shared, “Kahit ako, naghakot din ng mga gamit noong binubuo pa ito. Hindi pa ako ang barangay captain noon,” (I also helped in getting the materials. I was not yet the barangay captain during that time.)

Janice Barranda, 21, is the lone pregnant in Brgy. Yabon. As per Midwife Abarracoso, they have a lesser number of pregnancies in Brgy. Yabon because of family planning advocacies; yet, they’ve recorded 20-30 pregnancies from the six catchment areas of their BHS.

Midwife Abarrascoso checks up Barranda inside the new BHS

Barranda is expected to give birth in October and will be the first to use the new birthing facility. “Excited po ako kasi first baby ko tapos ako pa ang unang makakagamit nitong bagong BHS,” the mom-to-be shared. (I’m excited because this is my first baby and I’ll be the first one to use the new Barangay Health Station.)

With the new Barangay Health Stations with birthing facilities, Operation Sagip provides solutions to the three delays that link to maternal mortality. The midwives and barangay health workers guide the patients in seeking appropriate obstetric emergency care. OS constructed the facility so patients no longer have to travel far just to receive adequate medical care.

“Maraming salamat po sa pagpapatayo nitong BHS. Kumpleto ang mga gamit, at maraming matutulungan.”

Delivery room in Yabon’s BHS

“Hindi ko ma-explain ang feelings ko. For my 17 years in service na dito ako nag-stay, ngayon lang kami nagkaroon ng ganito,” Midwife Abarrasco enthused. “May mga kumpleto at magagandang gamit pa. Mas napadali ang trabaho namin. Noong itinatayo ito, hindi pa i-stop i-stop ang paggawa. Diretso, tapos ang ganda ng finished product. Marami pong salamat sa lahat ng tumulong para magkaroon kami ng ganito.” (I cannot explain what I feel. In my 17 years of service here, this is the first time we had a barangay health station with birthing facility. It has a complete and quality set of equipment. It makes our work a lot easier compared before. When this was being built, the construction was continuous. Now that we see the finished product, it is so good. Thank you to everyone who helped make this project possible.)

“Aside from building classrooms, Operation Sagip also saw the need to build health facilities for areas affected by calamities,” Ria Rola, Operation Sagip’s Relief and Rehabilitation Officer said. “Health is one of our basic needs and it is important to help communities where help is scarce.”

Brgy. Casapa in Jiabong, Samar was also granted BHS by Operation Sagip last March. Five (5) barangays will benefit from the project.

Samar is one of the affected areas of Yolanda when the super typhoon struck the country in 2013. Each BHS costs PHP2.7 million.

To help communities or know more Operation Sagip’s projects, visit www.abs-cbnfoundation.com.