Today is: Thu, May 23, 2013
The Longest Journey Starts with a Single Step
A Mayor stands up for family planning.
For some politicians, being a mayor is just another job; others take it personally, like Mayor Valente Yap of Bindoy, Negros Oriental. Bindoy is a poor municipality of over 38,000 people – mostly farmers and fishermen. Under the leadership of Mayor Yap, Bindoy has chosen the path of investing in health and offering its citizens an opportunity to live a healthier and happier life.
Bindoy’s involvement in health programs began in 2008 when the local government unit implemented a reproductive health and family planning project. Mayor Yap saw an opportunity to expand and enhance this program by collaborating with USAID’s Health Promotion and Communication project in 2009. Under the partnership, all of Bindoy’s health service providers and 50 percent of the community health volunteers were trained in interpersonal communication skills to conduct counseling, health education classes and health events in voluntary family planning, maternal and child health, and tuberculosis.
The training served as a springboard for action. Mayor Yap decided to allocate municipal funds for health education and promotion. From 2009 to early 2011, over 100 couples’ classes and 11 health events on family planning and maternal health were held reaching thousands of women and men, including those in far-flung barangays. To institutionalize and sustain his efforts, Mayor Yap built the Center for Transformation, a special venue for health education and promotion activities. In addition, Mayor Yap allocated funds to purchase contraceptive pills and injectables for those who cannot afford them.
Today, the municipality of Bindoy sees positive results. More women are relying on family planning in 2010 (42 percent) as compared with 2007 (37 percent) and these numbers continue to grow. With the sustained diligence of Mayor Yap and support of the community, Bindoy will be a municipality of healthy, well-cared for citizens because the longest journey starts with a single step.
- Success Stories
- New Health Strategy-Best Practices at Scale in the Home, Community and Facilities
- Family Planning (FP) and Maternal & Child Health (MCH)
- Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Luzon (LuzonHealth)
- Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Visayas (VisayasHealth)
- Integrated Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition/Family Planning Regional Project in Mindanao (MindanaoHealth)
- Communication for Health Advancement Through Networking and Governance Enhancement (CHANGE)
- Health Policy Development Program-Phase 2 (HPDP2)
- Private Sector Mobilization for Family Planning-Phase 2 (PRISM2)
- Community Maternal, Neonatal, Child Health and Nutrition Scale Up (CMSU)
- Maternal and Child Health Integrated Program (MCHIP) Philippines
- Building Actors and Leaders for Advancing Community Excellence in Development (BALANCED) Project
- Tuberculosis (TB)