As the pandemic continued its upsurge in the Philippines, Community Health Volunteers (CVHs) such as Barangay Health Workers (BHW) and Barangay Nutrition Scholars (BNS), were called to serve as front liners in their communities. While basic services are hampered as a result of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), CHVs along with nurses, midwives and doctors in Rural Health Units (RHU) continue to work together in implementing the health and nutrition programs of the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Nutrition Council (NNC).
“Diyos ko, laking pasasalamat namin na dumating yung tulong ng ADRA. Hulog ng Langit!” (Lord, I am very thankful with ADRA’s help. Heaven sent!), said Mila, 54 years old from Siruma, Camarines Sur. Mila was one of the 870 community health volunteers and families who received five (5) kilograms of rice from the Adventist Chinese Community through ADRA Philippines. Mila, a Barangay Health Worker President, served as a front liner in the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ang incentive at relief goods ay puwedeng maibigay ng kahit sino, pero yung serbisyo sa komunidad sa ganitong pambihirang kalagayan ay hindi kayang gampanan ng lahat.” (Incentives and relief goods can be provided by anyone, but the service for the community during this time of crisis cannot be done by anyone.)
The public health nurse (name removed) of the municipality of Siruma said that barangay front liners are least prioritized and yet had been active since the start of the ECQ.
“Masks nga lang ang naibigay namin, masaya na sila. Kaya kahit anong tulong para sa kanila ay malaking tulong. Ito ay makakapag boost din ng kanilang morale.” (We only gave them masks and they were already very happy. Any support for them is a tremendous help. This will also help boost their morale.)
Despite the high risk of contracting the virus, insufficient PPEs, low incentive, zero hazard pay and health insurance, CHVs are incessant in fulfilling their roles to contain the spread of the virus by efforts of awareness-raising activities on COVID-19 and strict monitoring of PUMs in their localities.
This story is reported by Aimee Tapeceria, Marketing & PR Officer from ADRA Philippines.