USAid Extends Health Program in South Cotabato

Apr. 26, 2007

The United States Agency for International Development (USAid) has chosen South Cotabato as recipient of its Health Governance (Health Gov) program this year.

The USAid program is seen to work hand-in hand with the FOURmula One for Health project funded by the European Commission.

Representatives from USAid visited the province earlier this month to signify their intention to pour in support to the provinces health initiatives by providing technical asssistance and capability-building support to the EC project.

The team was composed of Dr. Aye-Aye Thwin, chief of USAids Office of Health; Ma. Paz Desagon, project management specialist; Harry Hoovers, chief of party of Health Governance; Dr. Consuelo Aranas, Health program team leader; dr. Alejandro Herrin project officer of Health Governance; and, Earl Alcala, regional coordinator for Mindanao.

During their visit, the team explained that the needed counterpart from the provincial government may be financed under the Health Governance program.

These will include commodity self-reliance (CSR) logistics, family planning and maternal and child health aspects.

The program aims to support the Philippine National Health Strategy, which aims to strenghten and improve the four areas under the FOURmula One of Health program such as health care financing, regulation, service delivery and governance.

Under these strategies, it will focus on the health policy development project by achieving policy change and build a systematic policy change in the Department of Health.

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, provincial health officer, said that the province is very grateful for the support from USAid.

We did not ask for it. It just came in because the funding agency knew that South Cotabato has been efficient in the implementation of foreign-funded projects such as these, Sandig said.

The amount of the funding support from USAid is yet to be determined and would depend much on the necessity.

But he disclosed that it would definitely be a big help for the province, considering that the alloted budget for such purpose may be realigned to other important needs. (HST/PIA 12)

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