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Bringing It All Together: Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan
Aligned with the Aquino Health Agenda of providing all Filipinos with access to quality health care, in 2011 the Philippine Department of Health, with technical assistance from the USAID's Health Promotion and Communication Project (HealthPRO), launched the Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan (LBK) or "Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle" initiative. LBK has the appearance of a fiesta-like caravan that brings maternal and child health information and services to geographically isolated and disadvantaged communities. With the core message "No one is left behind: We are all drivers in this journey to health," LBK uses the travelling bus as a platform to enable local government units (LGUs) to reach communities to increase general health awareness and enhance health-seeking practices.
The bus serves as a catalyst for action upon arrival in a rural location. The area outside the bus is set up as a health promotion arena, with an interactive health exhibit, health education classes, and other education/ entertainment activities. The bus's interior has customized consultation and examination rooms to provide private health services and counseling. Both the exterior and interior activities promote the importance of antenatal care, safe pregnancy, birth spacing, family planning, exclusive breastfeeding, proper nutrition, timely and complete child immunization, and much more.
Since its launch, LBK has been an effective model for public-private partnerships in delivering critical health information and basic services. The bus has travelled to 19 areas across the country, directly reaching over 44,000 beneficiaries, offering basic antenatal care and family planning counseling to 3400 pregnant women and well-child care for almost 11,000 children in many hard-to-reach areas.
The success and institutionalization of LBK are more apparent now that more LGUs are requesting an LBK visit and several others are replicating the LBK or holding mini-LBKs. For instance, the Department of Health in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) replicated the concept and process of LBK in its hard-to-reach municipalities in Tawi-Tawi and Maguindanao provinces. In Libon, Albay province, many local LBKs were carried out at the barangay (village) level. In addition, HealthPRO assisted the Philippine Department of Health in developing and publishing an LBK guide, which provides step-by-step directions to local leaders on how to mobilize resources for, conduct, and roll out LBKs in their communities.
Read URC's Reaching The Poor with Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan.
October 22, 2012