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Poor, remote towns in Samar await NARS 2 program

By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA Samar)
September 17, 2009

CATBALOGAN, Samar    Rural folks from the most remote towns of Samar eagerly await the deployment of the second batch of Nurses Assigned in Rural areas (NARS) program.

In a phone interview with Matuguinao town Mayor Aran Boller, he said that his town yearns for the volunteer nurses especially so that in the first batch, nobody was assigned there.

As the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced the influx of applicants, somehow, Boller was assured of five nurses in his remote Matuguinao.

Matuguinao is a fifth class municipality struggling with a high malnutrition prevalence.

San Jose de Buan, another remote and impoverished town, also await the coming of the second batch.

Mayor Mila Rebato stressed that her Rural Health Unit has only a Municipal Health Officer (MHO), and five midwives, with no nurses.

Though the lady mayor did not promise additional LGU allowance for her incoming nurses, she told PIA, she may look for funds to help augment the allowance given by DOLE and Department of Health (DOH).

She added that the only nurse deployed during the first batch proved very helpful in helping MHO Dr. Phoebe de la Cruz carry out the health services in the hinterland of Samar.

MHO Dr. Phoebe de la Cruz said the nurses will be able to help her grapple with malnutrition in de Buan.

Matuguinao and San Jose de Buan are two of the farthest and poorest municipalities in Samar and that the deployment of the nurses to these impoverished areas will prove that the national government cares for them, said Mayor Rebato.

The second batch of nurses are scheduled to render their first day of service on October 1 as the first batch of nurses started in April 1.

NARS, a project of PGMA under the Comprehensive Emergency Employment Program (CLEEP) is designed for nurses to be deployed to their hometowns in rural areas to undergo six-month training in providing public health services and in performing clinical functions under the guidance of participating hospitals and other medical facilities.