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January 10, 2010

Looking Back, Looking Forward

First order of business for the RHU of Candoni was to review our performance for 2009. There are bright spots and there are areas that require a lot of improvement. For example, we have improved our rate of facility-based deliveries and rate of deliveries attended by skilled health workers. However, our Fully Immunized Children coverage decreased tremendously compared to our commendable performance last 2008. Part of our annual PIR is to identify gaps and think of solutions that can help us improve for this year. As always many issues have been threshed out and we have identified our goals for the present year. So, for 2010, we have agreed to give full attention to maternal and child care, among other things. Of course, we will sustain our focus on our Case Detection for TB (which by the way improved tremendously in 2009) and at the same time continue our Newborn Screening Program, Nutrition Program and Disease Surveillance System. In fact, this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be conducting an Encoder's Training for our staff.

We are updating our system and we want to go I.T. this year, improving our data gathering, database and analysis. This will hopefully improve our disease surveillance system and will prepare us for PIDSR.

I am hopeful that for 2010 we will be able to reach our targets. Meanwhile we are preparing for one of our big activities for the year, our healthy lifestyle celebrations this February. Again, this will be another hectic month considering that February is not just HL month but at the same time it is also the month of Festivities for the municipality. The Dinagyaw Festival of Candoni is on February 11, 2010 and this will be the 2nd year of the Dinagyaw.

During the meeting at the SB office pertaining to the Dinagyaw Festival, I stood up and suggested that the Dinagyaw Festival must have some symbolism that will give identity to the local festival of Candoni. For example, Bacolod's Masskara Festival has the Mask as the symbol for its festival. Bago City has its cannons. La Carlota has its Latin Beat and Drums. Candoni must also have its own symbol that would identify and differentiate its Dinagyaw Street Dancing from other festivals.

I suggested the symbol of the Bahay Kubo. During the First Dinagyaw Festival, there was one tribe which carried a small nipa hut as part of their props. It came to my mind that since the Dinagyaw Festival is a festival celebrating the Bayanihan spirit of the early settlers in Tabla Valley, the nipa hut carried by a group of people on their shoulders is a perfect and classic symbol of Community Spirit.

I was trying to envision a Dinagyaw Festival which will have a competition not for the best headdress or best mask or best costume as special prize but the best and most innovative nipa hut. Later, when a group of dancers come in carrying a nipa hut on their shoulders, many people will say, "Uy, that's from Candoni!"

But I am not the Festival Chairman and I do not even belong to the festival committee. The meeting ended quite late already and I had to rush back to the RHU to attend to my waiting patients.

However, the first week of 2010 was not just filled with work. I was able to catch up with high school friends and had dinner with them. I was also able to attend a high school classmate's wedding as well.

So it was a mix of fun and work, but most importantly it was more of looking forward for more big things in 2010.

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