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More beneficiaries for Long Life Program

By: Doris C. Bongcac January 24,2018 - 10:22 PM

CDN PHOTO / JUNJIE MENDOZA

AT LEAST 3,000 more Cebuanos will benefit from the Cebu City government’s free maintenance drugs program this year, said Dr. Marlo Maamo, head of the city’s Long Life Program.

Maamo said they are only waiting for the “go signal” from Mayor Tomas Osmeña to start the distribution of medicines to the additional beneficiaries.
If the budget allows, they also plan to give anti-asthma sprays this year, Maamo told Cebu Daily News.

“Everyday mohatag gyud ta aron dili makalimot ang mo-inom,” he said.

City Hall allocated P34.57 million this year to fund the implementation of its Long Life Program and the City Hospitalization Assistance and Medicines Program (Champ).

Under the Long Life Program, City Hall distributes maintenance drugs to city residents with hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol levels and those suffering from B complex deficiency.

Last year, they also gave out insulin to selected beneficiaries.

The Champ, on the other hand, provides medical aid which city residents could use for their laboratory tests, medicines and hospitalization needs.
Mayor Osmeña introduced the Long Life Program shortly after he assumed office in July 2016.

From July 2016 to November 2017, Maamo said, they registered at least 50,000 beneficiaries aged between 25 to 60 from the city’s 80 barangays.

City-hired Family Health Workers (FHW) visit beneficiaries’ homes to deliver their maintenance drugs for the next day’s intake.
Each FHW is assigned 50 beneficiaries.

Maamo said cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and diabetes are the most common causes of morbidity, the reason why they chose to focus on these diseases.

Vitamin B complex deficiency is also common among farmers in the city’s mountain barangays.

While he does not have data on the city’s morbidity rate in the last two years, Maamo is confident that the distribution of maintenance drugs has been helping city residents overcome their illnesses.

He said he is yet to get the morbidity data from the City Health Office next month.

Maamo, who has hypertension and diabetes, said that he is also a beneficiary of the city’s program.

He has been taking the generic brand Metformin and Lozartan purchased by city hall.

“Okay man ko. Walay rason nga ang uban dili ma okay basta mahatagan lang gyud sila ug tambal (I feel okay. There is no reason why other beneficiaries would not feel better for as long as they continue to receive their medicines),” he told CDN.

Medication paired with a healthy lifestyle will surely improve the health condition of city beneficiaries, he said.

Availment of the city’s free maintenance drugs program also allows him and other beneficiaries to save, Maamo said.

In his case, Maamo said, he gets to save P10 or a total of P300 per month on maintenance drugs. His savings could amount to as much as P3,600 in a year.

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