DOH Mimaropa pushes for more solar powered rural health stations in the region

Department of Health (DOH) – MIMAROPA (Oriental/Occidental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan) Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo today stated that 29 more Solar Home System (SHS) will be installed in all identified rural health facilities in the region requiring alternative source of energy that will supply electricity 24/7.

“We will be installing these in health facilities that are located in island barangays, mountain communities and remote areas of the provinces that has limited source of electricity, those that are powered by generators and those that has no means of reliable energy at all,” Dr. Janairo explained.

“Having medical emergency in the evening or delivering a baby during nighttime without interruption can help health workers provide proper treatment and care during birthing, maternity care, surgery and other medical operations,” he added.

In 2014, DOH-MIMAROPA initially piloted three health facilities for the feasibility and sustainability of the Solar Home System (SHS) in the province of Marinduque. These are the Dolores Barangay Health Center in in Sta. Cruz, the Bantay Rural Health Unit II in Boac and the Maniwaya Health Center, located in an island barangay in Sta. Cruz.

According to Janairo, the installation and configuration of the 29 SHS will be handled by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) – MIMAROPA. “We have already identified primary birthing stations, barangay health centers and rural health units where these units will be placed”.

Each health facility with SHS will have a 150 Watts capacity of electricity that can operate a personal refrigerator for 24 hours, 4 electric fans for 8 hours, 12 units of led bulbs for a maximum of 10 hours and a compressor for dental equipment for 6 hours.

Currently, there are 14 RHUs with SHS installed in MIMAROPA, these are located in Brgys Paraiso in Lubang and Guitna in Looc, both in Occidental Mindoro; Brgys Poblacion in Baco and Poblacion in Mansalay in Oriental Mindoro; RHUs in Torrijos, Gasan, Buenavista, Mogpog in Marinduque; Magdiwang RHU and San Jose RHU located in Carabao Island in Romblon; RHUs in Agutaya, Cagayancillo, Dumaran and Linapacan in Palawan.

“We will install fifteen more SHS in all RHUs with RxBox in other areas of the region to help power these devices that will enable remote consultations with patients in these far-flung communities.” Janairo assured.

The RxBox enables health workers to remotely diagnose, monitor and treat patients and designed to provide improved access to life-saving health care services.

The regional office has allocated Php1,145,500.00 for the upgrade of existing SHS and installation of the 29 RxBox sites with a counterpart of Php245,000.00 for the installation and other incidental costs that will be shouldered by DOST-MIMAROPA.

“All health facilities in the region requiring alternative and uninterruptible power source will soon be provided with the SHS. Delivering primary health care in rural areas also means having to innovate in definite ways such as building new energy system which also means saving hundreds of lives,” Janairo concluded.

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