Project Hope rehabilitates communities in Camotes

An international health care group has given hope to the people of Camotes Island, Cebu, one of the many areas that super typhoon Yolanda hit the strongest in 2013.

After typhoon Yolanda hit the eastern and central part of the Visayas region, Project Hope, a non-government organization based and founded in the US in 1958, has been helping the people in CamotesI Island recover from the devastation through rehabilitating health infrastructure, providing financial and technical assistance, and helping improve disaster-resilient infrastructure in the area.

In fact, last Feb. 27, the organization turned over the newly renovated Moabog Health Center in Pilar, Camotes. The turnover ceremony was graced by Project Hope President and Chief Executive Officer John Howe III, Project Hope Vice President Linda Heitzman, Pilar Mayor Jesus Fernandez Jr., and Provincial Health Officer Dr. Cynthia Genosolango headed the turn over ceremony.

“Post-Yolanda was really a difficult period for us, especially for the residents in Camotes Island, including Pilar, but the presence of Project Hope has always been with us. They give us the strength to move on and build back better,” Genosolango said.

Project Hope partnered with the Cebu Provincial Government through the Provincial Health Office in the rehabilitation of communities in Tudela and Pilar. They have restored the old and damaged sea ambulance for the municipality of Pilar.

Howe expressed his thanks to all the people who have given their part for the fulfillment of their projects. He emphasized that life is about relationships and if not for the people who are committed to build back what the typhoon has destroyed, they would not have come and celebrate the turnover with the beneficiaries.

“The only ship with the Project Hope logo in it is right here in Pilar,” Howe said, referring to the sea ambulance.

Project Hope also took the initiative to provide water purification system powered by a 250V solar panel in the health unit of Barangay Cawit, municipality of Pilar. It also includes a rainwater capture system that stores water in times of scarcity.

In Barangay Calamante in the municipality of Tudela, severe structural and roof damage caused by typhoon Yolanda was repaired and strengthened to prevent recurrence from the next storms. The group also installed a solar panel and water purification system to provide potable water and emergency lighting.

Because of the lack of the manpower to deliver health services in Camotes and Pilar, Project Hope, with the Provincial Health Office, created a program to hire one local doctor at the Ricardo L. Maningo Memorial Hospital. Dr. Jundal Canangcaan, a licensed pediatrician, was hired to work in the said hospital.

Canangcaan was also tasked to visit barangay health offices around Camotes and Pilar at least once every week for a 24-hour duty.

“We did immunizations, consultations, maternal and paternal care already. Only that our challenges in our work are the transportation for patients to and from the health facility and the supply of the medications at the rural health units,” Dr. Canangcaan said.

Government officials in Camotes and Pilar also took their part in supporting Project Hope. Fernandez contributed to the labor cost of the construction projects.

Tudela Mayor Erwin Yu, Poro Mayor Luciano Rama and San Francisco Mayor Aly Arquillano were present during the turnover ceremony. Other Project Hope officials present included Asia Pacific manager Ryoji Noritake, Regional Director Dr. Nassar Sheldon, and Philippines Country Director Dr. Rogelio Ilagan.