By Danny O. Calleja
Finally, the sad state of rural health service facilities in the province has caught the attention of the provincial government here as Governor Luis Villafuerte here announced over the week that he is giving priority this year to the upgrading of the province’s district hospitals and Rural Health Units (RHUs).
The move, according to the governor will enable the provincial government to provide quality health services up to the remotest local communities in line with the Universal Health Care (UHC) program of President Benigno Aquino III in pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
In 2000, the Philippines, along with 188 other countries signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration which seeks to decisively fight hunger, disease and poverty and foster development in the developing world. This pledge was translated into eight MDGs which are specific, concrete, time-bound and quantitative targets for action by 2015.
The Aquino administration is committed to achieving the targets not out of compliance but because the President is committed to fighting poverty and improving the health of our countrymen especially the poor. “Achieving these goals is important because it means that we have improved the quality of life of a significant number of our people,” Villafuerte said.
The realization of the MDG by 2015 is meant to accelerate democratization, scale up development in poor areas towards the reduction of poverty and in the promotion of global partnerships.
At least three of the eight aims of the MDG—reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health and combat HIVs, malaria and other diseases that are included in the Philippine commitment are directed more on rural health services which once realized would also lead to the attainment of Goal No. 1 which is to eradicate poverty and hunger, Villafuerte said.