The Department of Health (DOH) launches today the Kaligtasang Pangkalusugan sa Kalamidad sa Kamay ng Komunidad or “5K” strategy in Marikina City, the city chosen as the model local government unit (LGU) on disaster risk reduction and management.
The 5K strategy aims to contribute to the institutionalization of disaster risk reduction and management for health in the community by advocating disaster preparedness at the household level. This initative also represents a high-impact advocacy activity as part of the spectrum of capacity development interventions that DOH can offer to LGUs.
Having prioritized emergencies and disasters as key health issues, the DOH leadership has included health resilience in the Philippine Health Agenda. Through the Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB), the DOH is on top of several strategies to make 5K happen.
While health governance through the DOH is critical in driving the health resilience agenda, harnessing the strengths and potential of the LGUs to build their own capacities to be resilient is an important part of the equation. If families can be enabled and capacitated to be healthy, prepared, and resilient to emergencies and disasters, they can work hand-in-hand to minimize or prevent deaths, diseases, injuries, disabilities, and health system damage and losses arising from emergency and disaster situations.
“The DOH sets a paradigm shift away from regarding disaster preparedness as the responsibility of government towards strengthening instead the community’s ability to respond to calamities. The agency will provide support for the implementation of 5K through strategies such as advocacy and capability development, among others. After enduring the world’s strongest typhoon, Typhoon Yolanda, we will emerge stronger and more resilient to whatever calamities may come our way. Let us push for the 5K approach to disasters!” Secretary Paulyn Ubial stated.
When 5K good practices are found in one community and adopted into local policies and systems, efforts must be made to document them and try out strategies to replicate these in other localities. The choice of Marikina as a role model of disaster risk reduction and management for health is fitting in the light of the many disaster-related accolades the city has garnered through the years. After the floods caused by Tropical Storm Ondoy ravaged the city in 2009, Marikina had impressively managed to recover quickly, effectively, and for the better.
In the short term, the DOH plans to roll out the 5K strategy in different regions throughout the country, and provide support to its implementation at the LGU level to bring the 5K vision to reality.