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Madalag’s winning response against COVID-19

For almost three months, the town of Madalag in the province of Aklan, has been successful in its fight against the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

While the rest of the municipalities in Aklan are struggling due to the spike of infections, Madalag was able to contain the virus so that from April 7 until June 26 of this year, no single case of COVID-19 had been recorded.

How is this so? How did this fourth class municipality of Aklan manage to contain the spread of infection?

Dr. Josephine Ricamonte, Rural Health Unit-Madalag head, said that its information campaign on COVID-19 plays a vital role in their fight against COVID-19.

“It is important that your people know. It is significant that they are well-informed so that people may know how to efficiently and effectively combat the culprit,” Dr. Ricamonte said.

She added that it is for a while now that the local government unit of Madalag has sustained activities such as advocacies like constant reminders to its constituents of the minimum health protocols, updates on the status of the town’s COVID-19 cases, importance of vaccination, the virus and what it can do to people and how to fight it, and the likes.

Madalag has been maintaining FB pages as one of the ways of informing the public. Even the Facebook account of Mayor Alfonso Gubatina is being utilized for information dissemination.

“Since the pandemic has started, we made sure that our Barangay Health Emergency Response Teams (BHERTs) are likewise empowered. They were provided with training that guide them in handling patients that are positive of COVID-19, as well as those that are considered suspected or probable cases,” Ricamonte said, commending the BHERTS for their big help in the municipality.

LGU-Madalag is also adhering to fast contact tracing so that as much as possible it could be done within 24 hours from the time a probable, suspect, or confirmed case of COVID-19 is reported. Dr. Ricamonte confirmed that contact tracing is done up to the third degree and immediately isolates COVID-19 patients and individuals who are close contacts to a confirmed case. Food packs are also provided to those who are quarantined.

“Our quick response is also not possible without the help and support of the LGU. The hiring of the contact tracers was made possible through the LGU. As of the moment, we have 10 contact tracers, aside from the four who are hired by the DILG,” she said, adding that contact tracing in the barangay level is being activated.

According to her, once contact tracing and isolation are done, LGU-Madalag will then facilitate the testing for COVID-19. Transportation is provided to ensure proper handling of the patients who are being tested and their swab specimen.

“What is important here is the quick and immediate action of the people responsible for this job. Health authorities and employees here are commendable that even during late in the evening are working to make the work done,” Dr. Ricamonte noted.

Aside from the BHERTS, doctors, nurses, contact tracers, the employees and workers of the municipality are also admirable for their sacrifices and positive attitude. They are not also counting their time spent working.

“Even Mayor Gubatina does not mind working until the evening. Madalagnons have a common goal, which is to solve the crisis or the problem immediately,” she said.

LGU-Madalag Information Officer Rowena Hungay also attested the commendable attitude of the people of Madalag in their fight against COVID-19.

“The sacrifices of our people here are indeed laudable. Just like our contact tracers here who are climbing the mountainous areas of Madalag and sometimes facing heavy rains and flood while doing their jobs,” Hungay said.

She also accredited government leaders for effectively leading the municipality and ensuring that executive orders issued by the provincial government as well as of the town’s set regulations and protocols are strictly implemented.

“Lately, one confirmed COVID-19 case was recorded in Madalag after almost three months of no active case, but we are optimistic that again we could win this battle with our protocols in place and strictly followed by the people in Madalag,” she said.

As of June 27, 2021, the municipality of Madalag has a total of 42 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of the figure, 39 have recovered, two died and one active case who is currently admitted in a hospital. (LTP/SQP/PIA/AKLAN)

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Sheila Patoza

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Region 6

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