June 17, 2024

Lack of human resources and data management are among the factors now being addressed by the Department of Health-Cordillera together with the respective municipal health offices in the region that have yet to reachCovid-19 vaccination targets.
DOH-CAR Assistant Director Amelita Pangilinan said in a meeting with Regional Director Rio Magpantay on March 14, municipal health officers of highly-populated Benguet municipalities, namely La Trinidad, Itogon, Tuba, and Tublay have reported their respective situations and actions taken to ramp up their vaccination efforts.
Benguet, along with Ifugao and Mountain Province, has yet to reach 70 percent of the 80 percent target cumulative population and 80 percent of the 85 percent target A2 group or senior citizens.
Pangilinan said according to the MHOs, they need assistance in terms of human resource and information technology to be able to report and upload their vaccination accomplishments real-time.
It turns out that they are covering more residents than what is being recorded in the vaccination operations reporting system.
The DOH-CAR, Pangilinan said, has already organized an information technology team to go and assist the concerned municipalities in managing their vaccination data.
Pangilinan acknowledged most of the Cordillera towns are still not connected to the Internet which the DOH-CAR had confirmed from the rounds they made in all towns during the pandemic.
“When we were making rounds, (we saw) hindi talaga maganda ang Internet connectivity in most towns. Sa mga geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas, wala talagang signal,” Pangilinan said, adding some of the municipal staff have to go to the poblacion or capital towns to be able to upload their accomplishments.
Aside from poor connectivity, Pangilinan said the concerned municipalities also need personnel to handle data management. She said there used to be one data manager for each municipality but due to budget cut, one data manager is now assigned per one province.
“So nag-mu-multitask ang ating mga health personnel deployed. Instead of doing service delivery they also act as data managers,” she said.
Among the interventions, vaccination coverage has also started this month targeting the three concerned provinces, which initially resulted in the vaccination of at least 2,000 missed children and adults with comorbidities in La Trinidad, with most of them just having their first dose.
Local Inter-Agency Task Forces are also meeting partners to increase vaccination among seniors and individuals with co-morbidities.
During the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic team visit in Baguio on March 11, Deputy Chief Implementer of the National Action Plan against Covid-19 Sec. Vince Dizon has appealed to the concerned provinces to increase their vaccination rates, which were just above 50 percent.
Based on the latest Covid-19 vaccination statistics, Benguet has 160,603 residents/target that remains to be vaccinated with at least one dose and with a vaccination coverage of 53.49 percent; Ifugao with 74,760 (52.20 percent coverage), and Mountain Province, 34,974 individuals to be covered (67.32 percent coverage). – Hanna C. Lacsamana