A health worker with Vitamin Angels supplies
COVID-19 in the Philippines: Far From Over
10 months into 2020, the Philippines continues to try to endure the effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Based on the latest figures, there are now approximately 366,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country, with the average daily confirmed cases around 2,000 to 3,000. It is only very recently when the country has posted less than 2,000 cases per day, with many hoping that the downward trend continues.
Even with this positive development though, health experts still believe that there is still a big possibility that official COVID-19 numbers will hit 500,000 before 2020 ends. Testing facilities are still far from optimized especially with the recent news that the Philippine Red Cross had ceased their free COVID-19 testing due to the state health insurer's Php 930 Million debt to the Philippine Red Cross.
COVID-19 in the Philippines and School and Daycare Classes
COVID-19 has also affected the Philippine education sector, with the opening of school classes moved from the usual June schedule to October 5, 2020. Apart from the delay in class opening, the country has shifted to a blended mode of learning after the government prohibited face-to-face classroom sessions to stop the spread of the virus. Now, all students are essentially distance learners who use online and modular course work in continuing their schooling and education at home.
Public Daycare Centers in the country have all been closed to traditional learning, with learners staying at home and delaying their early childhood schooling. According to the teachers of our project's daycare centers, they are urging parents to teach their children how to read, write, and count by borrowing some of the books, tooks, and educational materials provided earlier by the Daycare Improvement Project and its donors. For now, the daycare teachers are pitching in to help their respective community's public health center which continue to provide medical and health support to all community residents regardless if they are positive or negative for COVID-19.
Public Community Health Center Support Programs made possible by the Daycare Improvement Project
With daycare learners safe in their homes, the Daycare Improvement Project has shifted its support to help indigent community health centers cope with the demands not only of fighting a pandemic but also of their daily duties to provide health services to the communities' residents. Through the project's exposure in the GlobalGiving Platform, HBI received donations from Vitamin Angels in the form of Vitamin A Supplements for children ages 6 months to 59 months. A total of 14 indigent community health centers, including the health centers serving the communities where our daycare centers are located, have received this support for approximately 1,200 children.
Through this support for Vitamin A supplementation, these children will avoid preventable childhood blindness, diarrhea, and measles; and would have stronger immune systems needed to resist infections. Proper Vitamin A supplementation also reduces anemia and decreases risk of children dying by 24%.
Apart from Vitamin A supplementation support, the Daycare Improvement Project has begun distributing health and medical items to indigent community health centers. Items provided include face masks, face shields, disinfecting kits, medicines for flu, fever, and colds, vitamin C syrups and capsules, and other consumable health materials such as gloves, bandages, and cotton buds among others.
Future Programs: Hygiene and Health Kits for the Daycare Learners and their Families
Through your donations, the HBI Team has already purchased family hygiene and health kits for the daycare learners and their families. However, travel and assembly restrictions imposed to fight the spread of COVID-19 continue to make deliveries in the La Union communities tricky and costly. HBI plans to provide these individual packages of support at the soonest possible time once we have secured all necessary health permits needed to enter the project areas.
Thank you to all our donors
We at HBI would like to fervently thank all the donors of the Daycare Improvement Project for supporting this cause, pandemic or no pandemic. As we try to continue our programs under "the new normal" ushered in by the COVID-19 pandemic, we will continue to strive in safely resuming our work and projects on the field for the benefit of the daycare children. We apologize for delays in our reports and in responding to emails and questions, rest be assured that we will work extra hard to provide all these health and hygiene support to La Union children and community health centers as soon as possible.
The HBI Team distributing Vitamin A supplements
Vitamin A supplements from Vitamin Angels
Community Health Center COVID-19 Support Program
Community Health Center COVID-19 Support Program