The progress of the building in

September, 2010
Here you can see some pictures of the building during the Disop-visit of september 2010:

Entrance of the health center.
Support of renovation.
Man working on the window.
Rooms in the health center.
Consult of patients.
Weighting of a baby.
Example of Barangay Health Center.

August, 2008
Thanks to the financial contribution from Belgium, the renovation works are now started and in progress.
The total costs are listed here.
Some pictures:
White building is for renovation birthing home.
Renovation of old building so it will be bigger than the original.
Mr. Ricardo Aguilar (pink shirt) is head of the barangay.

December 5th, 2007
This is our latest picture with my staff, standing on the front row from right to left: Mr. Antonio Go our rural sanitary inspector, Mrs. Carmelita Catubig - rural health midwife, Mrs. Elizabeth Iguana - rural health midwife, Dr. Fe Claire T. Buctuan (myself), Mrs. Beltriana Bandiola - rural health midwife and Mrs. Wenifreda D. Panos - rural health midwife. Standing at the back from right to left: Mrs. Cartalina Handugan - rural health midwife, Mrs. Marina Orog - rural health midwife, Mrs. Adriana Esic - rural health midwife, Mrs. Cecile Galea - public health nurse, Mr. Teofilo Gamulo - Malaria technician, Mr. Antonio Fortich Jr. - Medical Technologist, Mrs. Consolacion Tanoy - rural health midwife and Mrs. Betty M. Carloto - dental aide.

If you look at our latest picture you will notice that the health center has now improved compared to the previous picture I have sent you in 2006. This is because the money I mentioned in my previous letter was already used for the partial improvement of the building. Additional $3,000 from the Department of Agrarian reforms in cooperation with the Belgian Integrated Agrarian Reform Support Program was given and used to repair the destroyed walls and roofing. Tiles were placed on the floor but the roof elevation was not realized because according to the engineer the money is not enough for the work. Even the painting is partial because our financial assistance was consumed.

However as always our main concern is the service we offer. In 2006 our population increased to 40,597. We had 974 deliveries, 867 or 89% were home deliveries, 101 or 10% were hospital deliveries and 6 or 1% delivered at the health center. In 2006 we had 1maternal mortality due to hemorrhage; this is a case of a home delivery. We were not able to increase our health center delivery last year because of the repair of the health center which forced us to close the building and work temporarily in another building.

This year we have attended 7 deliveries in the health center and have repaired 2 lacerations. We know that our service will still improve if we will be given a better place to work. Our problem at the moment is doing all the delivery, newborn and postpartum care in 1 room.

The team does not only attend to deliveries but the public health concern of the entire municipality. We all have other assignments aside from what was mentioned above. Example of which is consultation on my part while the rural health midwives do the routine immunizations. Our medical technologist handles the laboratory, the Tuberculosis department and the pharmacy. The Nurse helps in the delivery but handles in addition the nutrition and family planning programs.

We are therefore hopeful that if people concerned for others will extend support we will be able to provide better services.

Download Excell-sheet

Some pictures:

December, 2006
My proposal is to repair the roof of our health center so that the height will be elevated because having a very low roof in a tropical country is very hot, which becomes a problem when we work. Then we need to extend the health center building to have 3 additional rooms for a lying-in or a delivery area in the health center.

A lying in health center is a health center that accepts deliveries. In Labason Rural Health Unit since 2004, we started accepting deliveries because we noted that it is better for mothers to deliver here rather than in their home which is the most common practice. This is to prevent maternal mortality due to hemorrhage and eclampsia, problems that can be prevented if assistants know how to detect it.

In Labason untrained birth attendants or people who believe they can assist in deliveries without formal training are the common people delivering babies. Our government tried to train some of them but we still face problems that sometimes lead to death, the most common of which is hemorrhage (due to retained placenta and lacerations) and eclampsia.

At present, the health system of the country allows rural health midwives do the home deliveries but the government can only afford to pay few midwives. For our 20 sub communities (or barangays) we have 8 midwives who attend to deliveries. This means 1 midwife is in charge of 1 or 3 sub communities having at least 3,500-5,000 population, a very big area of responsibility. Encouraging health center delivery will attract pregnant to go to one area where we, the health workers can come together and help each other. This will also change the picture of deliveries in our community.

In 2005 Our Population was 39,418. We had 948 deliveries, 76% or 723 were home deliveries attended by both the trained and untrained birth attendants. 23% or 219 were hospital deliveries, these are the people who can afford to pay a hospital or were forced to go to the hospital because of complications of pregnancy and 1% or 6 were health center deliveries.

Health center delivery is much cheaper than hospital delivery, money is among the reasons pregnant mothers prefer to deliver at home rather than in the hospital. Another problem addressed if we do deliveries in the health center is repair of lacerations, problems that are left unsolved in most home deliveries.

This is the reason for proposing the construction of a delivery area. There will be 3 proposed rooms, 1 will be used as labor room, 1 delivery room and 1 recovery room or admitting room where mothers can stay to rest for 24 hours after delivery. If complications arise we will refer patients to the nearest hospital, which is Liloy Integrated District Hospital the co-referral hospital of the health center located 20 kilometers away. This system will also help us improve Hepatitis B vaccination coverage, one of the existing millennium goals.

We will be waiting for your support and be assured that it will be for the improvement of our service to the people.

Till next mail,
Sister Claire and family

Dear brother Jan,
The entire project of extension and repairing the building will cost too much. The estimate is 9,000 USD but I will not allow you to pay for that. What I did was asked the Ministry of Health of our country to help me with the repair in year 2002 - I sent them a project proposal when I transferred to this municipality. I was only given assistance this year in the amount of 1,750 USD to help in the fixing of our roof. But it was not yet used because I am hoping for assistance from the Department of Agrarian reform in the same amount as additional repair of the roof. I also asked our municipality but since it is not their priority they only gave 900 USD.

What I will ask you is to handle 3,000 USD if you can extend that. The 3,000 USD will be used to improve a room for normal delivery. The project is to extend the room of the building as you see in the attached picture, construct a toilet for the patients and a lavatory to clean the baby after delivery.

I think that is already big for us. I will not ask you to look for funds for the whole project because it is not your duty to do that. Health centers in the Philippines should be funded by the municipality but it is neglected because it is not their priority. If you see my health center the ceiling is already destroyed and the roof is leaking, despite our frequent request. If you help me with the initial amount to build a delivery room it can be an eye opener for them to reconsider my request for support.