Quezon City local government and Unilab sustain partnership to bring health services to communities

Quezon City local government and Unilab sustain partnership to bring health services to communities

/ 07:00 AM January 15, 2024

One of the 17 Global Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all individuals in all ages. The Quezon City Local Government under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte continues to strengthen the delivery of health services to the community, as part of the Mayor’s 14-point agenda which focuses on human and social services, economic development, environment, and climate change, infrastructure, and institutional development.

The thrust to provide better healthcare is supported by strong partnerships with government agencies and stakeholders from the private sector. The LGU, through the Quezon City Health Department, has partnered with Unilab with programs that spanned decades of cooperation towards a mutual goal to provide responsive health and wellness services to QCitizens.    

Through Unilab’s External Affairs Division, the Quezon City Health Department was able to implement community-based initiatives which involved projects on primary care, non-communicable and communicable diseases, maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition which were managed by doctors, midwives and barangay health workers.

In 2021, at the height of the pandemic, QC Health Department and Unilab implemented a series of vaccination activities for priority sectors in partnership with Caritas Philippines. These activities were done in several churches and sites of Quezon City. Unilab also supported QC as it reached out to senior citizens given the limitations of the pandemic.

Supporting the start of life

The collaboration between the QC Government and Unilab began in 2007 when Unilab assisted Barangay Health Workers in the City with their monitoring tools to measure healthcare needs of its constituents at the grassroots levels. The data from the health workers’ journals had gaps in maternal and newborn health services that needed to be addressed. There was decreasing compliance among mothers from their prenatal checkups to post-partum antenatal care, family planning services, and child vaccination. This gave rise to focus on maternal care which included the involvement of private lying-in clinics in Quezon City in order to ensure safe childbirth and recommendations on post-natal care. 

Quezon City local government and Unilab provides health services

37 private lying-ins from five districts of Quezon City were recognized at this year’s Seal of Excellence Awards.

The Quezon City Health Department has taken steps to ensure the health and wellbeing of its QCitizens by strengthening its programs and partnerships. One of its initiatives to protect maternal and neonatal health and wellbeing was the Maternal Health Summit held in 2012 in partnership with Unilab’s Bayanihan sa Kalusugan program. The LGU collaborated with Unilab for a number of intervention activities which included the education of barangay health workers, public and private midwives, traditional birthing assistants or hilots, and the expectant mothers themselves. 

It was also through this partnership that the Seal of Excellence (SoE) for maternal lying-in clinics was conceptualized in 2016, as a quality label for private lying-in clinics that have achieved all Maternal, Neonatal, Child health and Nutrition (MNCH) Indicators, such as DOH’s License to Operate (LTO); Phil Health Accreditation, Sanitary Permit and membership in the City’s Service Delivery network (SDN), now called as Primary Care Providers Network (PCPN). This is a way to improve availability and access to safe, effective, and transformative health services for maternal and neonatal health in Quezon City.

The recent Seal of Excellence Awards, which is now on its 7th year, has set the benchmark for maternal and childcare, especially among private lying-ins.  The sustained partnership of QCHD and Unilab demonstrated an ideal public and private partnership that benefits the communities within the LGU.

Quezon City local government and Unilab provides health services

Dr. Ramona Asuncion DG Abarquez, Officer-in-charge of the Quezon City Health Department, affirms the value of public-private partnership in the implementation of Universal Health Care.

At the awarding ceremony that recognized 37 birthing clinics in the City, Mayor Joy Belmonte expressed her full support and recognition to the QC Health Department in continuing the implementation of the Seal of Excellence and vows to continue the LGU’s support for the program under Universal Health Care.  “The Quezon City Government is determined to ensure that all development goals are met to protect public health, improve maternal health and reduce both maternal and neonatal mortality through a localized and sustainable maternal and newborn child health and nutrition approach, and by focusing on the leadership and governance initiatives to properly implement a functional primary care provider network under the Universal Health Care Act,” said Dr. Ramona Asuncion DG Abarquez, QCHD Officer-in-Charge.   

Quezon City local government and Unilab provides health services

Speaking on behalf of Mayor Joy Belmonte, Dr. Dave Anthony Vergara, Quezon City Health Care Operations Officer, lauded the Seal of Excellence Awards as it sets the bar for quality health care for the protection and benefit of mothers and their child/children.

Dr. Dave Anthony Vergara, QC Health Care Operations Officer, lauded the extraordinary initiative, noting that it revolutionizes the realm of maternal care in Quezon City. “As a testament to the city government’s dedication to enhancing healthcare for mothers and newborns, this stands as a formidable symbol. With the main goal of saving maternal and newborn lives, the awards empower mothers through innovative transformations in the quality of care they receive.”

A Partnership Built to Last. Claire D. Papa, Head of Unilab’s External Affairs Division, acknowledges the commitment of the local government of Quezon City as the invaluable driving force that enabled the implementation of their joint successful community-based program.

“We are grateful for the trust and confidence of Quezon City in Unilab as a partner in providing access to its constituents to quality health care. The standards that this partnership has set through collaborative programs and the immeasurable dedication of its health sector under the leadership of Mayor Joy Belmonte and the QCHD define genuine public service. We look forward to collaborating more closely with Quezon City as we jointly pursue the thrust of the government to implement Universal Health Care,” says Claire D. Papa, Unilab Assistant Vice President and Head of Unilab’s External Affairs and Social Partnerships Division.

TAGS: BrandRoom, Health, health and wellness, Unilab

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