PSPHP in CNN Philippines on COVID19 community response
The Philippine Society of Public Health Physicians (PSPHP) is invited by CNN Philippines today, April 13, to talk about the role of community health workers in the the present interventions to address the COVID19 outbreak in the country.
Dr. Jim Lopez, one of PSPSHP’s board members and a faculty of University of the Philippines College of Public Health, in CNN Philippines’ The Doctor is In show with Dr. Freddie Gomez, emphasized the importance of improving the capacity of health centers and barangay health workers (BHW, community health volunteers), particularly in the preventing the spread of infection.
Dr. Lopez mentioned several responsibilities of community health centers (locally known as rural health units) in relation to the present outbreak. This includes daily surveillance of their areas of responsibility, implementation of physical distancing policy, and limit contact of people with confirmed or suspected COVID19 cases. He also mentioned the constraints our health workers at the community level faces, like the need to capacitate in handling cases, linking possible cases with the accredited diagnostic center especially in difficult-to-access areas, and protecting them from being infected. Health centers are also expected to continue providing its routine clinical and public health services.
Dr. Lopez also encouraged the health workers in the rural health units to read the unified guidelines (read here) recently released by PSPHP, Philippine Society of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID), Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), and Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine (PSGIM) to understand how to implement infection control measures at the community level.