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Bamboo coin banks aid pregnant women in Abra town

PEÑARRUBIA, Abra (PIA) – Free bamboo coin banks from the Rural Health Unit here are  helping indigent pregnant patients prepare for their childbirth expenses.

Liza Buenafe shared that her savings from her bamboo coin bank helped her pay hospital bills when she gave birth to her third child via caesarian section (C-section) in August 2016.

“Nakaurnongnak ti P5,000 nga nakatulong ti naannayas nga panaganak ko via C-section idiay ospital idiay Bangued,” she said.

Municipal Health Officer  Dr. Elsa Dangani Gonzales shared that the bamboo coin banks came out as a strategy of the local government unit to augment the financial needs of pregnant clients especially those who are referred to higher health facilities during childbirth.

“Nu man pay libre amin ditoy nga umay aganak, from pre-natal agginga ta makaanak, adda met limitasyon mi so we have to refer to a higher facility. Nu in case nga adda ti pagkasapulan nga ag-cash out da nu i-refer mi isuda ti higher health facility, pulos ti urnong da,” she said.

Said program that started in 2016 also aims to facilitate easier transfer of complicated pregnancies to higher health facilities and lessen maternal and neonatal death in the municipality.

Bamboo, which is abundant in the province of Abra, is being used to make coin banks that the Peñarrubia Rural Health Unit gives for free to help their pregnant clients save and prepare for childbirth. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

“Syempre ready yung mga pregnant natin and maiwasan yung mga delay sa pag-transport for referral. Mabidaran tayo ti maternal death and fetal death ditoy Peñarrubia,” added Gonzales.

She explained that savings from the bamboo coin bank can also be used to buy the needs and other expenses for the baby.

Peñarrubia Municipal Health officer Dr. Elsa Dangani Gonzales shows the bank book card that the community health teams use to monitor the savings of their pregnant clients using the bamboo coin banks. (Photo by: PIA-Abra)

“Nu haan da mausar kasi libre met amin, daydiay nagian diay alkansya ket usaren da para newborn screening daydiay baby kasi haan nga libre ti newborn screening,” she said.

Gonzales shared that community health teams and the barangay health workers conduct regular monitoring to ensure that clients are using their bamboo coin banks. The RHU keeps a record of the savings of their pregnant patients using a bank book type card.

The Peñarrubia RHU, which serves more than 25 pregnant patients in a year, recorded zero maternal deaths since its accreditation as a birthing facility in 2012.

Recently, the Peñarrubia RHU bagged second place for the Primary Care Facilities Star Award during the Am-among for Health Gawad Kalusugan organized by the Department of Health-Cordillera. This is in recohnition  of the  facility’s continuous provision of safe, quality, accessible, and affordable primary care services to the community. (JDP/JJPM-PIA CAR, Abra)

About the Author

Jamie Joie Malingan

Regional Editor

Cordillera Administrative Region

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