“Safe and efficient healthcare should not be a privilege but a right of every Filipino,” says Secretary Abad.  Thus, we at the Dimataling Rural Health Unit strive to deliver the best health services there are to offer especially among the poor and marginalized sectors in the municipality. Since some Dimatalingians live in far flung barangays, we made sure to find ways to reach them through medical outreach, where different health services were provided to community people. Moreover, through the senior citizen congress conducted last October 12-13, 2015, we were able to give around 700 senior citizens free medical check-up, medicines, BP checking, and dental check-ups.

          The different health indicators have also improved. The Facility-based Delivery has increased from 28% (2013) to 73.27% (2015). However, the Tuberculosis detection rate has decreased from 100% in the year 2013 to only 55.69% on this year. The tuberculosis cure rate, on one hand, has remained consistent- still a hundred percent. Aside from this, the Rural Health Unit has also been giving free prenatal check-ups for pregnant women and free immunization for the children.

Other Accomplishments:

National School Deworming Day (NSSD)

            A simultaneous deworming in all schools nationwide was done last July 29, 2015. The said National Deworming Day is a joint project of the Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Education (DepEd) which aims to save children from parasitic intestinal worms. In Dimataling alone, around 1205 children out of 2017 were dewormed. That’s a total accomplishment of 59.7% in the municipality.

Municipal Nutrition Culmination Program

            The Municipality of Dimataling celebrated Nutrition Month last July 2015. In line with the said celebration, the Municipal Health Office Personnel conducted a lecture to the municipal employees every Monday for the whole month of July. The aim of the lecture was to increase the knowledge and awareness of the employees on health and nutrition. Moreover, everyone was also encouraged to participate in the Zumba Dance at the municipal gym to help lose weight and to be healthy.

School-Based Immunization

            One of the objectives of the LGU’s health program is to immunize children. Below is a table that shows the number of immunized children in the municipality.

Vaccine Target Accomplished Percent (%)
Tetanus-Diphtheria 665 367 55.2%
Measles-Rubella 637 253 39.8%

Filaria Transmission Assessment Survey

            In collaboration with the Department of Health (DOH), a Filaria Transmission Assessment Survey using the Immunochromatographic Test (ICT) was conducted among randomly identified schools in Zamboanga del Sur to test whether the province has sustained its status as Lymphatic Filariasis Free Zone. The chosen schools in the Municipality of Dimataling were Mercedes Elementary School and Baluno Elementary School. The said Transmission Assessment Survey (TAS) for filariasis was designed to determine whether infection has been reduced to levels low enough that it cannot be sustained in the absence of drug intervention and, therefore, allowing for a decision whether to continue or stop the Filariasis Mass Drug Treatment (MDA) in the province.

Municipal Leadership and Governance Program (MLGP) Colloquium

            The Dimataling Health Team headed by Honorable Haniel C. Baya attended the leadership recollection and colloquium by the Department of Health, Ateneo de Zamboanga Center for Leadership and Governance and Zuellig Family Foundation (ADZU-ZFF) last September 21-23, 2015. The team attended the said colloquium of the Municipal Leadership and Governance Program since the team, through the Municipal Health System Development Roadmap was able to confront issues affecting maternal delivery and infant births through a responsive health system.

Drug Advocacy Program

            Last October 26-30, 2015, the Municipal Health Office, Dimataling Municipal Police Station, Department of Interior and Local Government and other stakeholders conducted a drug advocacy in all 24 barangays of the municipality to increase awareness on the ill effects of drugs and the legal aspect of drug possession and use.

by Dra. April Rose Suzzette Exile