CALABARZON – The Department of Health (DOH)-CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon) yesterday conducted a community health risk assessment for COVID-19 and medical consultation to the Dumagat Tribe, one of the tribal communities in the region located in the mountainous province of Rizal.
A community health risk assessment provides information on the community’s current health status, needs, and issues that will help in developing a community health improvement plan by validating how and where resources should be allocated to best meet the community’s needs.
The Dumagat Tribe is one of the few communities that have yet to be infected with COVID-19. They are a tribal community located in Sitio Mangahan, Barangay Laiban, Tanay, Rizal, just a few kilometers from the boundary of Nakar, Quezon.
“Kailangang nating bigyan ng proteksiyon at kalusugan ang lahat ng komunidad sa ating rehiyon, kasama na rito ang mga tribo na nakatira sa mga bundok upang sila ay maging ligtas hindi lamang sa COVID-19 kundi pati na sa ibang sakit na maaari dumapo sa kanilang lugar,” said Christine Elaine P. Alvarez, head of Health Accessibility Innovation and Development Unit (HAIDU), who led the risk assessment team.
“We also need to identify the unmet health and healthcare needs of the community and provide solutions in order to meet these necessities. Kailangang lahat ay maproteksyonan ang kanilang kalusugan at walang maiiwanan,” she emphasized.
Tribal communities are led by a chief who is responsible for the overall health and wellness of their community. They have been increasingly involved in public health activities, regulation, and service delivery.
According to Dumagat Chief Uefemia T. Encisco, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, they have strictly implemented health protocols within the community such as wearing of face mask and regular washing of hands with soap and water.
She said the community is still COVID-19-free due to the strict protocols by barangay officials and the military where they prevent the entry of persons from outside of the tribe.
“Para sa pagpapalakas ng resistensya at katawan ay kumakain kami ng mga sariwang gulay, prutas at iba pang mga pananim gaya ng sambong at lagundi na pinakukuluan naming at iniinom na parang kape sa umaga,” she added.
The regional office also distributed face masks, face shields, medicines and bags of groceries during the event.
The activity was made possible through the collaboration of the 89th Infantry Batallion of the Philippine Army, Rizal province led by LTC. Rimrad Ferrer. (AI/MTVN/FC)
GLEN S. RAMOS / BENJAMIN CUARESMA