Japan donates medical equipment to Balete, Batangas rural health unit

Published December 3, 2021, 5:23 PM

by Betheena Unite

Much-needed medical equipment worth P5.2-million were donated by Japan government to a rural health unit in Batangas Friday, Dec. 3.

(Photo courtesy of the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines)

Third Secretary Yumi Yamada of the Embassy of Japan led the turnover of the grant that covers the procurement of an automated blood chemistry analyzer and an ultrasound machine for the Rural Health Unit of Balete in Batangas.

The Balete Rural Health Unit is the main public health facility for its 24,000 residents and provides outpatient primary healthcare services to about 6,000 patients a year.

It was disclosed that the limited capacity of medical equipment available at the rural health unit restricted the access of medical services.

“For example, since its blood chemistry analyzer was a manual type, it could only cater to 30 percent of caseloads from patients with medical conditions such as diabetes, hypertension and angina,” the Japanese Embassy in the Philippines said in a statement.

It also added that since the facility lacked an ultrasound machine, pregnant women used to travel one hour per way to the hospital in the neighboring town to avail prenatal services.

“Now that the project is formally turned over to the rural health unit, Balete residents, including 1,400 patients that require the use of the fully-automated chemistry analyzer and 100 patients that require the use of the ultrasound machine annually, can avail improved medical services and access,” the Embassy said.

Approved in 2018, the project is part of Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP).

As the top ODA donor for the Philippines, Japan launched the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help various communities engage in grassroots activities.

At present, 548 grassroots projects have been implemented by the GGP.