Tagum hospital for calamity victims to rise
TAGUM CITY—A hospital that aims to focus on treating victims of natural and manmade disasters is set to rise in this city, according to a foundation of health practitioners known for doing humanitarian work during emergencies.
The Mindanao Foundation for Medical Disaster Preparedness and Response Inc. (MFMDPRI), which is composed of community health workers and advocates from Davao City, will run St. Genevieve Hospital, which will cater to the immediate medical and health needs of the victims.
The facility carries the name of the 5th century French patron saint of disasters.
“We aim to build a center that will provide immediate aid to victims of calamities, particularly to those who have less in life,” Sr. Milagros Gimeno, the foundation’s board president, said during the ground-breaking of the three-story facility to be built at a cost of P20 million in Barangay Mankilam here.
The hospital seeks to provide “holistic physical and spiritual cure,” Gimeno said.
Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from Davao City will comprise the bulk of manpower for the 25-bed hospital when it starts to operate the outpatient and the emergency room sections after the soft launch, said Marrion Adrian Solis, MFMDRPI executive director and a nurse.
Foundation officers said they decided to put up the hospital in the capital city of Davao del Norte province due to its proximity to three provinces in southern Mindanao, which have been hit and would likely be hit by both natural and manmade disasters, such as flooding, landslides and even storms.
Gov. Rodolfo del Rosario cited the hospital as a welcome development and a huge boost to the province’s disaster preparation and mitigation initiatives dubbed Oplan Andam (Oplan Ready).
It will also be a good training ground for disaster responders on how to provide quick and effective medical and health interventions to disaster-stricken areas in the region, Del Rosario said.
He said the building of the hospital—said to be first of its kind in the country—was a timely preparation for possible disasters resulting from climate change.
Foundation officers clarified that St. Genevieve Hospital would still accept common patients.
“This would not be an entirely different hospital, no specialized, sophisticated equipment than those being used by standard medical facilities,” said surgeon Ruben Robillo, a foundation director. “The facility would still serve the basic medical needs of the community but focus on disaster victims, especially those who are marginalized.”
Robillo said the hospital would strengthen its ties with communities by providing them medical training “so they themselves can respond when medical needs arise” during disasters.
Doctors, nurses and other medical professionals from Davao and Tagum, as well as linkages with other medical societies will form the backbone of the hospital’s manpower, he said.
Solis, the foundation executive director, said his two-year old group had been providing volunteer medical work during major disasters, such as Typhoon “Pablo” (international name: Bopha) which ravaged Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental provinces in 2012, and Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (Haiyan) in the Visayas the following year.
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