Private partnership for safe community

SM Foundation and clothing brand UNIQLO with its parent company Fast Retailing Co., have joined forces to promote health and wellness, and most recently the partnership assisted three more community health centers that were inaugurated and turned over recently in the Bicol region.

The partners upgraded community health centers in Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte; the Angas Barangay Health Center in Basud, Camarines Norte, Cararayan Barangay Health Center in Naga City, Camarines Sur, and the San Isidro Health Center in Baao, Camarines Sur. These Centers were likewise equipped with the necessary health apparatus, furniture, appliances, and vitamins and medicines.

Improved in the Centers were the Patients’ Waiting lounge, Reception area, Consultation Room, Pre-natal and Treatment Room, Meeting Room with Pantry, Mobile Play Cabinet for Children, Under -5 Clinic, Breastfeeding Room, and Medicine Storage Cabinets.

The region’s geographical location makes it prone to natural calamities. To ensure the barangay health centers are ready for disasters and emergencies, SMFI and Uniqlo provided the centers with Emergency Go Kit+.

The kits consisted of alcohol, bandages scissors, BP monitors with a stethoscope, burn ointment, cervical collar, cotton, disposable Ambu, elastic bandages, eye pad, flashlight, folding knife, gauze bandages, gauze pad, gloves vinyl, hot water bag, hydrogen peroxide, ice bag, Kelly forceps, lighter, N95 masks, micropore tape, oxygen tank with regulator, penlight, plastic Strips, pocket mask, Povidene Iodine, pulse oximeter, raincoat, rope, shear scissors, skin swab, sterile gloves, thermal blanket, thermal gun thermometer, thumb forceps and triangular bandage.

SMFI executive director for medical programs Connie Angeles said, “Health facilities play a very significant role in the mitigation of disasters because of their function in treating the injured and handling outbreaks of disease. These trying times, we believe that health centers are vital for community surveillance and response.”

“We need health centers in the countryside that are equipped to treat people with minor injuries, which is extremely useful to reduce congestion and referral to hospitals or other more sophisticated medical facilities,” she added.

These community-based health facilities provide basic health services, maternal and child health care, immunization, vaccination for senior citizens, family planning, first aid and follow-up treatment for communicable diseases like Tuberculosis. The health centers will also be venues for the Covid-19 vaccination program.

Worthy endeavor

The Angas Barangay Health Center is a 100 sq. meter one-story health facility constructed through the efforts of the Basud local government unit. Despite being an unfinished building because of a limited budget, it was still utilized as a health center. Its roof was damaged by strong typhoons. With the renovation done by SM Foundation and Uniqlo, it is now a modern health center. It is the 8th Uniqlo — SM Foundation renovated health facility. Mayor Adrian Davoco of Basud, Camarines Norte graced the turn-over rites as well as Barangay Captain Salvador Bartolome Jr. of Angas, Basud, Camarines Norte. The Center was blessed by Fr. Noel Domingo of the Parish of Our Mother Perpetual Help.

In Naga City, the Cararayan Barangay Health Center became the 9th Uniqlo- SM Foundation to renovate the health facility. Also a one-story building, it has a floor area of 95 sq. meters. It was constructed on December 19, 1990, through the efforts of the late city mayor Jessie Robredo.

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