Health Secretary Duque III

Department of Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III aims to improve the capabilities of government health facilities in Iligan and Marawi Cities to make them exceed their levels prior to the crisis wrought by the recently concluded armed conflict.

The DOH Secretary visited these cities on November 10 to monitor the situation of evacuation centers in Iligan City and Marawi City in line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to aid in the rehabilitation measures for the people who were affected or displaced by the five-month-long siege.  This was the first opportunity Secretary Duque had to visit these facilities since his appointment to the DOH portfolio two weeks ago.

Today is the 24th day of the liberation of Marawi City which was declared by President Duterte on October 17, 2017. The Department of Health (DOH) continues to respond to health challenges in the conflict-stricken areas. The evacuation centers are physically assessed to ensure their adequacy to provide basic health services to the evacuees. TSeKap services are continually conducted to ensure the well-being of the people under the DOH care at these centers, and to amply provide medical supplies as part of the ongoing medical assistance. Appropriate psychological intervention has been made available for both Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in evacuation centers and home-based IDPs so with the service providers.

According to the most recent data from the DOH-Health Emergency Management Bureau, there are 5,087 families or 22,193 persons who are currently staying in 76 evacuation centers, and another 17,855 families or 81,101 persons are in their own homes.

The Amai Pakpak Medical Center and Abdullah Hospital are functional 24/7 providing Emergency Room, Operating Room, Pharmacy, and Laboratory services. There are ten serviceable Barangay Health Stations and outposts in Marawi City opened for public.

Overall, a total of P 222,388,985.61 worth of logistics and funding assistance from the DOH Central Office, the DOH Regional Offices, and partner agencies was given to the hospitals and evacuation centers in the affected areas.

“The DOH is doing its best efforts to continuously deliver essential health services and in particular, rehabilitate the health system in Marawi especially the damaged health delivery infrastructures. We have to make sure that effective health strategies are enforced to implement programs that have been planned to address the health needs of the people in the battle-scarred areas,” the Health Chief affirmed.

He added that it is hardly enough to restore the capabilities of these healthcare facilities to the way they were before the Marawi siege, because the unique circumstances and challenges faced by the affected people demand a proportionately greater response from the health sector.

“While the presence of displaced families at these evacuation centers provided the DOH with a valuable opportunity to provide healthcare services to many people who would, otherwise, not seek attention under normal conditions, we are now shifting our focus to building back better as we contribute to our nation’s efforts to rehabilitate Marawi,” Secretary Duque stated.