Motivated by its thrust to advocate for the overall physical well-being of every member of the community, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) launched Barangayang Panglawas (BP), a caravan that aims to raise awareness and highlight the importance of community health. Through its physical and economic well-being programs namely: the Eduardo Aboitiz Cancer Fund, Dolores Aboitiz Children Fund, Humanitarian Disaster, Preparedness and Response, and RAFI Microfinance, Inc., the activity provides Barangay Health Workers (BHW) an overview and introduction of RAFI’s health services.
The program includes a talk about cancer awareness and how-to’s on early breast cancer detection in partnership with the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) and Philippine Society of Medical Oncology (PSMO). This activity empowers and capacitates BHW’s to detect early signs of breast cancer and share RAFI’s health services and programs among their constituents.
“We at RAFI ultimately want to expand our reach and help more people. In order to achieve this, we developed this program specifically to bring RAFI and its services closer to the community. Targeting a touchpoint with barangay health workers of partner LGU’s will help us spread awareness and cater to constituents who need it. We are grateful for our partner organizations, VSMMC and PSMO who also want to promote the same advocacy for health and awareness,” expressed Riella Guioguio, Chief Operating Officer of RAFI.
Apart from the program prepared for the BHW’s, a simultaneous free breast cancer screening and pap smear test was also available during the caravan. In the most recent run of the BP Caravan at San Roque Parish, Subangdako, Mandaue City on September 17, 2021, over 70 women availed of the free orientation and pap smear test, while 7 women availed of the breast examination.
Mylene Cabahug, a resident from Maguikay, Mandaue City, along with her relatives took the opportunity to take the test for free. “Sa akong edad, since 44 nako required man sa atoa na every year magpa pap smear. So naa may free nganong di man I grab. Then dako pod ug katabang sa atoa kitang mga babae. (…) Kailangan gyod para sad pod sa akong health ma check nako,” she said.
On its 6th session of the caravan held in Mandaue, over 100 BHW’s participated in the orientation while over 80 patients were screened. The BP Caravan has already visited 5 LGUs (Camotes, Badian, Medellin, Bantayan, and Mandaue) in the last 6 months benefiting over 1,000 BHWs and more than 500 patients for cancer screening. The caravan will continue to journey throughout Cebu, touching communities one caravan at a time.