Government agency, Cebu Province ink deal to train BHWs on alternative medicine

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THE Philippine Institute in Traditional and Alternative Health Care (PITAHC) signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Cebu Provincial Government on Wednesday, August 31, 2022, to provide trainings to barangay health workers (BHWs) on alternative healthcare services.

During the signing, PITAHC Director General Dr. Annabelle Pabiona-De Guzman expressed gratitude to the Cebu Provincial Government for being the first province to embrace the traditional method of medication.

"Through this MOA, the DOH (Department of Health) PITAHC and the province of Cebu will share resources together to promote and support traditional and complementary medicine as a relevant and alternative healthcare," De Guzman said.

The program is also designed to help improve the healthcare system of hospitals in localities and barangay health clinics.

The project is expected to benefit the residents in the far-flung barangays through the alternative and traditional methods of healing the disease such as massage, steam inhalation or tuob, and herbal and medicinal plants that are organic and can be planted easily.

"When we speak of those that can afford millions in hospital debts, I'm talking of hospital billings, I speak of those who can fly to other countries for better medical care they are the chosen few. The greater number are just trying to eke out a living from day to day in order to feed their families and when someone gets sick that becomes an unbudgeted, unprepared for expense," said Garcia on Wednesday, August 31, through Sugbo News Live feed.

During the event, PITAHC turned over materials that will be used by BHWs during the training such as lagundi, sambong, books for traditional and alternative healthcare and acupuncture table, among others.

The province of Cebu has around 14,000 barangay health workers.

It can be recalled that during the outbreak of coronavirus disease (Covid-19), the province recommended the use of tuob as a way to fight the disease.

PITAHC is a government-owned and controlled corporation attached to the DOH. It was created on December 7, 1997 as per Republic Act 8423, also known as the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Act (Tama) of 1997. (ANV, TPT)