800 Subanens receive free health services PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 22 December 2013 14:56

DUMINGAG, Zamboanga del Sur — Close to a thousand Subanens  in the municipality of Dumingag, Zamboanga Del Sur walked for hours just to avail of various health fair services on December 19, 2013.

The local government of Dumingag through its chief executive Nacianceno M. Pacalioga, Jr. organized the first indigenous people health fair in the municipality in partnership with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with the Office of National Commission on Indigenous People (NCIP).

During the health fair, more than 800 Subanen went out to avail of the different services on medical, prenatal, dental, family planning and reproductive health services.   Subanen pregnant women and lactating mothers were given attention in various services as they are the most vulnerable to different risks. After availing services, this group of women received dignity kits courtesy of UNFPA.

Part of strengthening the welfare of Subanen, orientations and awareness on violence against women and children, in the context of IPs, asserting indigenous peoples’ rights and importance of civil registration were facilitated by different agencies from PNP women’s desk of the municipality, NCIP and NSO on the said fair.

Highlighting the event was the turnover of certificates of live birth to 258 Subanens. They were handed over by Mayor Pacalioga together with NSO and NCIP.  This certificate does not only give them their identity but will also provide them access to privileges and protection from the government.  Mr. Edward Dawatan, Field Coordinator of UNFPA, in a statement said there are  at least 600 IP late birth registrants still on process with NSO and certificates will be released once their identity as member of Subanon tribe is validated and confirmed.   A free birth registration was also catered during the fair to give other IPs to avail this service.

In his message, Pacalioga stressed that “the project complements his genuine people’s agenda as it helps the Subanen people liberate from poverty, sickness and health.  They have gone far and they will continually strive more to improve the well-being of every people in the municipality”.

The health fair and distribution of certificates of live birth to IPs are few of the major activities spearheaded by UNFPA for Indigenous Peoples Maternal Neonatal and Child Health Nutrition (IP MNCHN) project in Mindanao, a 3 year project funded by European Union with NCIP as the lead implementing agency. — Noel Tarrazona