“In order to succeed, people need a sense of self-efficacy, to struggle together with resilience to meet the inevitable obstacles and inequities of life.” ALBERT BANDURA
By Alex P. Vidal
Despite the devastation of typhoon and the horror they went through, they still managed to smile.
This was how Dr. Hamira Welye of Nigeria described victims of super-typhoon Yolanda he met while in the Philippines since November 10, 2013 as a medical missionary.
Welye and Dr. Vera Siesjo of Sweden are medical workers representing Zuellig Family Foundation. They witnessed the joint relief operations for typhoon victims conducted by ABS-CBN Iloilo and Iloilo Cyber Cockers Club, Inc. in Dao, Capiz last January 16.
Welye, medical doctor at Jos University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, has gone to other cities and provinces in the country since arriving in Manila from Sydney, Australia.
He witnessed how typhoon victims suffered especially in the first two weeks when they were conducting their medical mission. Welye described Filipinos in general as “brave, friendly and always smiling.”
He and Siesjo, of School of Public Health–University of Sydney, Faculty of Medicine, conducted a medical mission in Ivisan and Dao towns last November 19.
Siesjo, International Project Coordinator at Afa-Press, Project Coordinator Mental Health at HIGA Eva Peron de San Matin Education: University of Sydney, Universidad de Palermo, said they also conducted leadership training program among mayors and midwives aside from medical mission.
She revealed that the leadership training program included five different modules where the trainees are taught how to incorporate health system in their programs.
Siesjo confirmed that the Foundation’s Institute for Health and Policy Studies works in building the capacity of health leaders so they can, in turn, establish and sustain equitable health programs and services that will greatly benefit the poor, as stated in the Zuellig Family Foundation website.
“The capability-building program recognizes the important role that leadership plays in establishing and replicating best practices in local health systems,” added the Foundation.
“As an essential part of the Foundation’s agenda for action, various training and mentorship programs equip health leaders and professionals with the necessary tools to strategically address health inequities.”
It explained that “one of the key steps to strengthen local health systems is to assist in the development of the inter-governmental and inter-sectoral collaborations of different stakeholders in healthcare at the local level.”
It added: “The focus is on strengthening the primary health capacities of rural health units and partners to ensure cooperation and responsibility. Local health system reforms cannot be implemented unless there is broad participation among the different stakeholders. Major actors as well as appropriate leadership training interventions in the local health system must be identified. Shared agreements among the different players at the local level are necessary to implement innovative programs which should, in turn, result in better health outcomes for the poor.”
Meanwhile, Dao municipal health officer, Dr. Mary Humbelyn-Horneja confirmed that Zuellig Family Foundation has been assisting Dao in the health training and leadership governance.
“They have been here since last year and aside from training programs that they are giving they also provided us medicines and other supplies during their medical mission,” Humbelyn-Horneja said.
Six people died in Dao during the typhoon Yolanda, according to the municipal health officer.