Jagna Bohol Radio Talk on Health Issues

It all started with questions like “how do we ensure that those with ailments regularly take their medicines and come back for check-ups?” A usual health concern by the Rural Health Unit of Jagna regarding peoples’ attitude to medications Forrest Malakoff, CEO and president of Philos Health and Dr. Lefkos Aftonomos, 1st Philos medical volunteer  came to Jagna only to be confronted with the same question.  After reviewing the records that a number of those diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension and finding out that they were not maintaining their medications, the two medical representatives[ realized that the initial treatment will never be effective.

“Why did you stop taking your medicines?  Why did you not come back after the last dose?” These questions were often asked.

“ Wala na  koy gibating sakit. Maayo na ang akong  lawas.”    “Wala man gud koy ikapamilite og sige ko’g adto sa health center.” These were also the usual responses.

While it is a reality that people especially from the upland barangays are experiencing financial difficulties, the lack of understanding on many aspects of health is at the core of such attitudes, concepts and practices.

Then how do we confront this concern?

After a series of discussions and consultations within Philos Health, it came up with the idea of a community radio on health – a whole package for information, education and communication regarding health and related concerns.

“What do you think of a community radio project on health”? t Malakoff asked Mayor Eksam C. Lloren during their medical clinic in the early part of 2007. “The benefits of a community radio focusing on health will be tremendous.  But we can also make use of broadcast as a development tool to encourage participatory governance. We can use this too for information and education campaigns related to economic, other social services, environment and other concerns of the different sectors of the community.  Moreover, this can also be a venue for dissemination of the LGU programs and projects”. The Local Chief Executive’s reply paved the way for further discussions and future plans on the community radio.

In the February 2008 medical mission of Philos Health to Jagna which was joined by international community radio experts like Bharat Koirala – Father of Nepal Community Radio and a 2003 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee on Community Radio, Carlos “Choy” Arnaldo – UNESCO Consultant on Community Radio; Louie Tabing – UNESCO Consultant on Community Radio and TAMBULI Project Director and John Kent – Philos Health volunteer and initial funder of the community radio, the plan to establish the Jagna Community Radio was finalized.

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