Pastrana Rural Health Unit is a government run health clinic staffed by one doctor, Dr. Rolando Sulla, one dentist, Dr. Irma Lerios, and 11 nurses. Pastrana RHU caters to 29 Barangays in the area with a population total of over 17,000 people.
Pastrana RHU is able to provide services due to the support of the Department of Health, as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The DSWD offers local families incentives to visit the clinic, such as receiving money for bringing their children to Pastrana RHU for their monthly check ups and necessary immunizations. However, the services provided are free to all and do not require health insurance.
A few of the services Pastrana RHU is able to offer include consultations, maternal and child health care, immunizations, and laboratory examinations. In a typical day at the clinic, it’s common to have consultations with patients who have fevers, coughs and colds, infections, as well as those seeking treatment for Tuberculosis. For anything requiring hospitalization, PRHU is able to transfer patients with the use of their ambulance, though it’s stretcher was lost among the chaos of Typhoon Yolanda.
Volunteer for the Visayans provides a constant stream of volunteers to the clinic, often times those with nursing experience, or science degrees such as psychology or behavioral science. These volunteers, much like Karen from England who has been working at Pastrana RHU for 7 weeks, work side by side with the local staff to provide health care for the impoverished.
Karen described, “all of the nurses here work very hard with the little resources they have and I’d like to give them the recognition they deserve. The clinic wouldn’t run without them. The entire staff has made me feel very welcomed during my time here. I thoroughly enjoyed this program and I hope we’ve learned from each other. Volunteering for VFV has inspired me to continue aid work in developing countries.”
Pastrana Rural Health Unit was recognized this past month by the Department of Health along with the Governor of Leyte, Leopoldo Dominic Petilla, for providing “outstanding Measles-Rubella coverage during the MR-OPV Mass Immunization for 9-59 month old children.”
Francis, a nurse at the clinic, explains, “This award signifies that 95-100% of children in the community received their vaccinations. Out of 44 towns, the Pastrana RHU ranked number 7.” This is an accomplishment the entire staff surely should be proud of.
*Written by Courtney Cunningham, media intern from the US