Community-Based Primary Health Care

MAP’s partners are mostly indigenous groups all over the Philippines . With little or no assistance at all from the government or from private health services, these groups continue to suffer from poor nutrition and lack of medical assistance. MAP serves these areas with fervor and vision bearing the burden, to enable and equip these areas with basic health knowledge and training, with hope that someday, they will become empowered, self-reliant, and healthy communities.
Couple of mothers and fathers graduated from Primary Health Care Training

The Primary Health Care Delivery System of MAP includes Community Organization resulting in the formation by the community of a duly elected Barangay Health Committee.

Health Education and training of Barangay Health Workers (BHW) is an important component of the program under the supervision of the nurse assigned to a particular project site. The objective of this program is to ensure that by the end of the first year, the community has at least one functioning BHW or one BHW per 20 households. By the end of the second year, a Health Stationand Barangay Pharmacy has already been established and is fully operational. At the end of the project, which is usually three to four years, the people represented by their elected Barangay Health Committee shall be able to identify health problems, provide solutions to them or at least help establish linkages with government agencies. Barangay Health Workers would be able to provide basic primary health care services and are recognized by the DOH as part of the health team at the municipal level.

MAP follows a monitoring and program evaluation scheme throughout the lifetime of the project to ascertain the impact of the health services in the area. Evaluation is done twice during the project’s lifetime.
Nurse Oliver teaching Aeta mothers and father about health.
Current Strategy of the MAP Ministry
  • Local Government/ Community Partnership – When we go into a community, we work closely with the government. We come through the barangay (village) officials and get the cooperation of the people. When we offer services, we ask them to provide a building or house to use as a station. We lead them in identifying their health problems and then ask them possible solutions. The health care system therefore becomes their project.
  • Community Immersion – Our personnel agree to live with the people for three years, during which time we should be able to develop village health workers and health promoters. Curative care can immediately begin. Our nurse practitioners are trained in the five most common illnesses in the area. In effect, they act as local doctors but refer to our circuit doctors any problematic cases or diseases beyond their training. For patients who need to stay for a day or two for treatment, we have asked each village to build a hut within the perimeter of the medical mission. Patients maintain their own huts and stay for free.
  • Community Empowerment – A village pharmacy is established as the community’s project. We donate seed money to purchase medicines and keep shelves supplied. We ask people to pay for their medicines unless they are extremely poor. (We used to dole out medicines to people, but many of them feigned sickness to obtain medicines and sell them to their neighbours). We sell the medicines with a 10 % mark-up for handling services. We teach the people that this is necessary to keep medicines available for their use.
  • Community Health Training/Education – Within the three-year project period, the nurses also train people handpicked by their own community to become village health workers and health promoters. These barangay health workers (BHWs) / Family Health Workers (FHWs) work alongside the nurses as assistants in the clinic and in lecture groups. They learn about common diseases in the locality, get acquainted with the common medicines used and run the pharmacy themselves. The nurses’ responsibility becomes supervisory.
  • Health Committee Formations – To safeguard the work of the BHWs and running of the village pharmacy, the nurses and doctors organize a local health committee. Members are elected by the villagers. The committee’s responsibility is to oversee the health care work done by the BHWs. At the end of three years the village is ready to run its own primary health care station with periodic visits form their own former nurses and doctors. Through all these activities, BHWs are told about Jesus Christ and trained to be lay leaders in the local churches, if and when they become Christians.
  • Disciple Making – The doctors and nurses also perform an evangelistic and discipleship ministry. The health care program includes active witnessing and personal discipleship efforts with the village health workers.

This approach is cost effective. It is not a hospital, so there are no requirements for permits, licenses or fees, building specifications, or a minimum of three shifts of nurses. The doctors and nurses just make house calls. What is more, gospel sharing is easily integrated in this activity.

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