146944 Empowering Communities and Local Health Services in Philippines to Enhance Infant and Child Health

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Maria Loida Sevilla, MD MPH , Health Department, Plan Philippines, Makati City, Philippines
Nithea Abrera, MD MPH , Health Department, Plan Philippines, Makati City, Philippines
Val Estevez, MD MPH , Health Department, Plan Philippines, Makati City, Philippines
Luis Tam, MD DrPH , Plan USA, Arlington, VA
THE PROBLEM. Philippines' provinces of Occidental Mindoro (pop 380,000) and Masbate (pop 600,000) are located in the central part of the country and endure high infant and child mortality. In a 2005 population survey, 35% of deaths among under-five children were due to infectious diseases that if attended and treated without delay could have been prevented. In order to address this situation, Plan Philippines (an international, humanitarian NGO) and its local government and community partners implemented a project to improve the home diagnosis and management of illness, including the proper identification of danger signs and timely health-seeking practice to government health service providers. PROJECT STRATEGIES included: (a) the design of the family-managed health resource and monitoring tool; (b) Training of the adult-child family health volunteer per household; (c) Certification of the local government health facility under the government's Quality Improvement Program; and (d) Participatory Project Design and Evaluation. PROJECT RESULTS included: (a) the proportion of cases administered appropriate home management increased from 36% to 62%; (b) Cases brought to a health service provider within one day of onset increased from 8% to 36%. Moreover, (1) the family health volunteers said that the family health resource and monitoring tool enabled them to easily access information on appropriate first aid, proper care of the sick, on preventive health measures and timely seeking of medical attention, (2) Community leaders and local officials noted that the families became more responsible in taking care of their health and (3) Health Service Providers noted that the incidence of severe cases brought to the health facility was reduced because of the enhanced home management. CONCLUSIONS: Given the success of this experience, Plan Philippines and its government and community partners are planning to scale up these methods and tools to the 9 provinces where it works.

Learning Objectives:
At the end of the session, the audience will recognize the importance of appropriate community-based educational and monitoring tools to enhance home-management and health seeking behavior of preventable infectious diseases.

Keywords: Community Health, Health Service

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.