Collaborated Heatlh Program PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 21 May 2015 13:36

Better health programs in ZamPen–  thanks to the Municipal Health Leadership and Governance Program (MLGP) of the DOH and Zuellig Family Foundation.

Local Government Units (LGUs) are often frustrated when national government agencies don’t work hand in hand with them.But when national programs are implemented with local consultations with local leaders, it works harmoniously. As they say, everybody is pleased.  There is a happy partnership.

And today, Pep talk gives credit and salutations to the Department of Health (DOH) and Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF) for a notable collaboration health program in Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) - the Municipal Health Leadership and Governance Program (MLGP).

It works this way. Before DOH’s national health programs will be implemented, local leaders and health workers are being consulted.  DOH acknowledges the importance of the commitment and ownership of Local Chief Executives, health and community leaders as critical factors in ensuring implementation of health reforms.

ZFF advocacy “Health Change Model” is helping make this connection happen. In coordination with a local academic institute, local leaders and stake holders are taught important leadership principles. It believes, they (locals) are the keys in changing local health systems for a healthier community thru innovative health programs.

Last year, Health Leadership and Governance Program (HLGP) wasimplemented in 609 priority areas of 67 ZamPen municipalities.

A three year program of the DOH, the program aims to develop the leadership and governance capabilities of local chief executives; develops their leadership skills; institutionalized responsive local health policies and programs; increase awareness and encouragement of active participation; and seek health positive behaviors of local people.

In 2012, DOH Regional Office-9 (DOH-9) under the directorship of Dr. Aristides C.Tan coordinated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), 14 local government units (LGUs) and Zuellig Family Foundation (ZFF). The alliance harmonized efforts and endeavor of all stake holders to enhance and improve local health services.

The DOH-9 takes care of health services with technical assistance and financial grants, LGU health staff training, coaching, monitoring, evaluation and mentoring. DSWD handles the social welfare and development aspect.  ZFF provides the leadership training.

The LGUs provides the needed infrastructure, commitment and good governance thru transparency and accountability. Under this partnership,Mayors, Municipal Health Officers, Municipal Social Welfare Officers, Municipal Planning and Development Officers, and selected community leaders from the 13 LGU-partners went into series of training themselves.

The HGLP in 2013, however, was affected by CHD rationalization Plan (RATPlan) and the CHD ISO certification, as well as by the Zamboanga siege. It resumed in 2014, wherein batches of Local Chief Executives and local health stakeholders successively attended the Municipal Health Leadership and Governance Training (MLGP) of ZFF under the supervision of Ateneo de Zamboanga University (ADZU).

So far, the MLGP has reported improved health services and decreased maternal and infant mortality rates in ZamPen municipalities when the local leaders and stakeholders were involved. By taking down their health programs to the grass root level, DOH is confident to achieve its Health Millennium Development Goals (MDG) target of improved health this year.

This is good health news!

By Dante Corteza