April 14, 2024

The new hemodialysis center in Itogon, Benguet started treating patients on Dec. 11 after it was granted a license to operate by the Department of Health on Sept. 18.
Its inauguration on Oct. 12 was attended by Benguet Rep. Eric Yap and Gov. Melchor Diclas who both expressed their sincere desire to extend assistance to dialysis patients.
The center gained its accreditation on Dec. 4 as a facility that can provide dialysis treatments to members of the PhilHealth. The facility can process claims for the reimbursement of expenses from the insurance company.
Itogon has a population of about 65,000. Based on data gathered from the rural health unit headed by Municipal Health Officer Oliver Guadaña, about 100 patients with end-stage kidney failure are maintained on dialysis in various centers in Baguio City and in other towns like La Trinidad, Benguet.
Realizing the difficulties faced by kidney failure patients in Itogon, Mayor Bernard Waclin and the municipality conceived the plan to put up a dialysis facility. One of the buildings in the town’s evacuation center in Sitio Malasin, Ucab barangay was retrofitted for the purpose.
This was one of the buildings used as isolation facility for Covid suspects and cases during the pandemic.
The dialysis center is equipped with 12 machines and can cater to 12 patients per three to four-hour session. A total of 36 patients can be treated per day if three treatment sessions will be done.
The clinical staff is comprised by eight nurses and two technicians. A physician-on-duty will be present during treatment. Seven water tanks have been installed to ensure that adequate water will always be available for treatments. The center will also cater to dialysis patients from nearby towns.
The municipality’s efforts to provide assistance to its dialysis and other patients have gained support from generous private companies in the town.
A fully-equipped ambulance was donated and turned over by the San Roque Power Corporation through Vice President for Corporate Social Responsibility Tommy T. Valdez on Dec. 6. The vehicle will be used for patient transport and for emergency purposes.
Meanwhile, the International Day of Persons with Disability was observed on Dec. 3.
The increasing number of PWDs is linked to improved health care, newer medicines, improved technology and the resultant increase in life expectancy. As one grows old, he develops hypertension, heart disease, kidney function impairment, memory impairment and other ailments that puts him in the PWD group.
In the effort to help PWDs, priority lanes and wheel chair lanes are set up. But vital to the use of these lanes is the empathy and kindness shown by persons who may feel inconvenienced by PWDs and senior citizens. It is a big help to PWDs if they deal with friendly and smiling staff behind cashiers’ desks and parking ticket lanes.
Kindness from younger and able persons who get bumped by a PWD from a queue matters a lot. Unkind remarks negate the physical convenience offered to PWDs.
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. It is being able to feel and understand the needs of others. Empathy and kindness were the basic values that led to the creation of PWD and priority lanes.