In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte under the leadership of Governor Imelda ‘Angging’ Quibranza-Dimaporo, conducts the 1st Provincial Health Board Meeting for this year to discuss other health issues that the province is facing which need a cohesive and responsive approach by the Local Government Units, concerned stakeholders and the general public.

One of the alarming issues discussed is the prevalence of teenage pregnancy in the province based on the 2019 Field Health Service Information System (FHSIS) Accomplishment of the Provincial Health Office.

According to the 2019 data, 19 individuals between the age of 10 to 14 and 907 from 15 to 19 years old gets pregnant, to which the Governor expressed deep concern on the matter, and called on the Local Chief Executives and concerned government offices to intensify the information, education, and communication campaign in the communities to reduce the number of adolescent pregnancy.

In addition, the Mortality and Morbidity Rate was presented at the meeting, where Hypertension, Cancer (all forms), and Acute Myocardial Infarction are the top 3 causes of Mortality rate, while the three leading causes of Morbidity are the Upper Respiratory Tract Infection, Essential Hypertension, and Influenza.

The Health Scorecard of the Local Government Unit was also discussed to strengthen the health care system in the province by focusing on the 5 Objectives: 1. Ensure Equitable Health Financing- the Provincial Government of Lanao del Norte has a performance rate of 23.87% surpassing the target of 22%, and also has a Province-Wide Investment Plan for Health endorsed or concurred by the Center for Health Development (CHD); 2. Local Health Systems Integrated into Province-Wide Health Systems; 3. Implement Comprehensive Development Plan for Service Delivery; 4. Localize High Impact Policy Reforms-PGLDN created and enacted 10 Provincial Ordinances; 5. Improve Performance of Local Government Units-for TB treatment alone success rate is 93.9% passing the 90% target.

On the other hand, John Lancelotte C. Rasonabe from DOH Regional Office discussed the Universal Health Care and comprehensively explains the importance and the factors that would contribute for a successful implementation in the province, one is to strengthen the Inter-Local Health Zone between the Municipalities in preparation for the Province-Wide health care network.

Dr. Jovette S. Guinal, the Provincial DOH Officer, presented the Local Health System Maturity Level, while Dr. Jennifer Lee of the Provincial Health Office discussed the Provincial Health System Maturity Level.

Governor Angging highly emphasized the importance of taking care of the peoples’ health not only by investing in machines, medicines, and health facilities, more so getting people involved in programs that increase health literacy.

The Provincial Chief Executive also thanked the PHB members for attending the meeting which discusses health issues concerning the future of the province and expressed appreciation to the Local Chief Executives for their continuous support to the programs, projects, and activities of the Provincial Government, such as the implementation of Universal Health Care in the province for the welfare of the people of Lanao del Norte, “The Land of Beauty and Bounty.”

Present also at the meeting are Honorable Mayor Leoncio C. Bagol of Tubod, Honorable Barry Y. Baguio of Kapatagan, Honorable Vice Mayor Jaber M. Azis of Matungao, Honorable Vice Mayor Casim M. Abubacar of Pantar, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Teresa M. Reponte, Kolambugan Chief of Hospital Dr. Demetrio U. Opamen, Jr., Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Mark Christopher A. Babor, the Committee Chairman on Health and Sanitation of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Honorable Abdul Harris U. Ali and Provincial Administrator Ms. Sittie Aminah Quibranza Dimaporo.

The 1st PHB Meeting was held at Macapagal Training Center, Governor Arsenio A. Quibranza Provincial Government Center compound, Pigcarangan, Tubod, on September 21, 2020. PIO-LDN