Capitol to train 16K BHWs on alternative health care

Governor Garcia also plans to form a Provincial Traditional Health Care System

By: Rosalie O. Abatayo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | June 28,2020 - 06:20 PM

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia during her daily presser where she gives updates on the coronavirus situation in Cebu island. (CDN Digital File)

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Capitol is planning to train the 16,000 barangay health workers (BHWs) in its 44 towns and seven component cities for alternative health care along with its plan to establish a Provincial Traditional Health Care System (PTHCS).

The Provincial Information Office, in a news release, said the measure was aimed at bringing the benefits of the “traditional and alternative ways of recovering from different illnesses, such as steam inhalation,” to remote areas in the province.

“Well, we do not live in an ideal world. Kay kon ideal pa ni naa unta tay Level 1 hangtod Level 3 doctors sa matag barangay. Maong himuon ta ni. Ang atong over 16,000 barangay health workers atong ipa-training on delivery of alternative health care,” the news release quoted Governor Gwendolyn Garcia as saying.

(If this is an ideal world, there would be level 1 to level 3 doctors in each barangay. That is why we are doing this. We will train our over 16,000 barangay health workers for the delivery of alternative health care.)

The PTHCS, according to the PIO, will be composed of agencies such as the departments of Science and Technology, Environment and Natural Resources, Agriculture, Health, Education and the Commission on Higher Education; experts on biomedical and environmental health, natural food, and traditional medicine, physicians, and academicians or researchers.

Recently, Garcia had been endorsing traditional and home remedies such as “tuob” or steam inhalation as a way to alleviate symptoms of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Various health groups have since expressed opposition against the use of tuob among COVID-19 patients.

The Philippine Medical Association said that while the practice of tuob might offer relief to a person, “it unduly increases the risk of virus spread and transmission to nearby individuals, surfaces, or objects.”

READ: PH’s largest medical society denounces Gwen on tuob, calling out doctors

As of June 27, the province has already logged a total of 949 cases of COVID-19, of which 697 are active, 186 have recovered and 66 passed away.

The Philippine Institute in Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC), on the contrary, issued a statement supporting the use of tuob to alleviate the symptoms of respiratory illness.

“In a third world country, where resources are limited and accessibility and availability of health care services are areas of concern, traditional and alternative practices are the only affordable and available source of health care,” read a part of the PITAHC statement.

“We have to consider existing realities. Maayo man kon tanan maka-afford og hospital care dayon. Naa may mga tua nagpuyo sa isla sama aning Lipayran nga wala’y doktor,” Garcia added.

(We have to consider the existing realities. It would be better if all could afford hospital care, but we have people living in the islands like Lipayran where there is no doctor available.)/dbs

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TAGS: alternative, barangay health workers, BHWs, Gwendolyn Garcia, health care, traditional, tuob

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