The Manila Health Department (MHD) has a new promoter and information disseminator about the free and basic health services that the residents may avail from the city government.
He is ‘Kapitan Ligtas’, the caped crusader who is bent on saving as many as possible from getting sick or worse, dying from illnesses that are otherwise curable via the free health services through MHD, headed by Dr. Arnold ‘Poks’ Pangan.
Although he had been going around the city convincing children to get vaccinated against measles, rubella and polio under the nationwide supplemental immunization campaign dubbed, ‘Chikiting Ligtas 2023,’ it can be said that “Kapitan Ligtas’ actually formally debuted via his special appearance at the city of Manila’s “The Capital Report” hosted by Mayor Honey Lacuna, no less.
Donning his signature uniform — a red cape over a white inner shirt and a red mask— ‘Kapitan Ligtas’ bared that his job is to provide all the necessary information regarding prevalent illnesses affecting or that pose danger to the health of the residents and how to avoid them through the medical services that may be availed of from the city, free of charge, either at any of the six city-run hospitals or the 44 health centers.
He revealed that the health centers are on their way to becoming ‘super health centers’ with the construction already kicked off.
These are the health centers in Pedro Gil, Lanuza and San Sebastian, even as up for significant changes and already demolished for the purpose are the Tayabas, Aurora and Mendoza health centers.
Apart from the infrastructure program , ‘Kapitan Ligtas’ said that the MHD department also embarked on enhancing its manpower services and although currently, doctors and nurses are available in all of the city’s 44 health centers and the personnel are sufficient, the hiring of doctors and nurses continues.
Three additional free services are now available at the health centers, aside from the regular ones such as consultation, vaccination, checkup and pre-natal.
These are the clinical laboratory testing for fasting blood sugar (FBS), complete blood count (CBC) and urinalysis, and others; electrocardiogram or ECG and ultrasound for pregnant women.
‘Kapitan Ligtas’ has vowed to continue going around the city to save as many Manilans as possible by constantly providing them with information on various kinds of illnesses threatening the communities, how to best avoid them and what to do in case they get sick.
The MHD, by the way, still with the invaluable support of ‘Kapitan Ligtas,’ brought pride to the city of Manila when it bested all other cities within the National Capital Region (NCR), as the first to achieve 100 percent in the measles-rubella-polio vaccination.
When MHD chief Dr. Pangan guested at the ‘MACHRA’s Balitaan’ forum organized by the Manila City Hall Reporters’ Association on May 22, he announced that the Manila LGU has already accomplished 97 percent of its immunization target for measles and rubella and 92 percent in polio.
He also expressed confidence that the city will be able to reach its 100 percent target within the week.
And true to his words, Manila has achieved a total of 102.24 percent or 151,077 children have been vaccinated against measles and rubella and 96.93 percent or 167,833 children have been given oral vaccine against polio.
Manila’s top ranking in the nationwide immunization drive was based on the “CY 2023 Measles Rubella Supplemental Immunization Activity Accomplishment Report’ of the Department of Health.
The “Chikiting Ligtas 2023: Join the Big Catch Up, Magpabakuna para sa Healthy Pilipinas!,” was launched in April 2023 in observation of World Immunization Week (WIW), by the Department of Health (DOH), together with developmental partners United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
With the success of Manila’s immunization program, the role of “Kapitan Ligtas” cannot be simply put aside. He has proven himself to be effective in his role.
Kudos, “Kapitan Ligtas” and may you continue saving precious lives!!!
DIRECT HIT entertains comments, suggestions or complaints. Please have them emailed to [email protected] or text 0917-3132168.