‘Korea’s $7M grant to go a long way’

ILOILO – Ilonggos will forever be grateful to the help of the government of South Korea which will transform the province’s three remote hospitals into “real hospitals for the poor”.

This is according to Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. who recently signed the Minutes of the Meeting for the US$7-million grant of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The Minutes of the Meeting intends to establish a framework of cooperation for the implementation of Iloilo Geographically-Isolated and Disadvantaged Area Health System Strengthening Project.

The project seeks to expand and modernize the delivery of basic health services in Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian town, Jesus M. Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan, and Ricardo S. Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Calinog.

It will likewise provide basic and comprehensive emergency maternal obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC and CEmONC) equipment and materials to Rural Health Units of Alimodian, Leon, San Miguel, Calinog, Bingawan, Balasan, Batad, Estancia and Carles. 

“This help will go a long way. The ceremonial signing last week is also a firm assurance that the Philippines and South Korea will put flesh and substance to the project (sic),” Defensor said.

Meanwhile, the Records of Discussion that stands as a Memorandum of Agreement will be signed by both parties by the end of the August or sometime on the first week of September.

KOICA will then open the project for bidding once the document underwent the review of Department of Finance and approval of President Benigno Aquino III.

Provincial Administrator Dr. Raul Banias said they are eyeing the simultaneous construction phase to start by March 2014.

Based on the Minutes of the Meeting, the construction of medical facilities has appropriation of US$ 3.5-million, while the equipment and supplies have a budget of US$1.5-million.

KOICA also allocated US$900,000 for the expenses of the Korean experts they will be sending to Iloilo to act as project managers, equipment and manual specialists.

A total of US$1.1-million, on the other hand, is set aside for the training or capacity building for medical personnel of the three hospital beneficiaries and community participatory outreach programs.

For the part of the provincial government, Banias said they will provide Obstetrician/Gynecologist, pediatrician, anesthesiologist, OB ward nurses and midwives for the rural health units concerned.

The province also vowed to allocate funds for the maintenance and repair of the equipment and provide accommodation and travel expense for BEmONC trainings.   

Once finished, Banias said they expect 50% reduction in the three hospitals’ infant and maternal mortality rate or from 39 to 20 deaths per 100,000 cases.

Increased in contraceptive prevalence rate from 35% to 65% and health facility delivery from 65% to 80% are also expected from the project. (Jezza A. Nepomoceno/Capitol News)



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