CHO asks council for bigger budget
Alicia Chua (The Freeman) - December 6, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — During the citizen’s hour, the Cebu City Health Office  (CHO) has apprised the City Council on the alarming surge of HIV-AIDS cases in Cebu and what measures and policies should be put forth to address this concern.

As of May 2019, there are 67,395 reported HIV cases in the Philippines, and Region 7 is the fourth region with the most number of HIV cases, according to the CHO.

In Region 7, Cebu City has the highest number of cases with 3,898 identified individuals.

CHO Head Dr. Daisy Villa has asked the City Council for additional budget of P6 million to be used for the patients by next year.

For 2019, the budget allocated for HIV program was just P50,000.

“The budget we proposed kay taas gyud siya kay some agencies mo-stop na sa ilang grant.  It will suffice for us, and to be ready to support all the identified cases,” said Villa.

The CHO has been helping provide maintenance medicine and treatment to HIV identified patients through NGOs, but most of their grants will be ending by 2020, which is why they are appealing to the council for an increased budget allocation.

Villa said that for every HIV patient, they would need at least P30,000 a month for their medicine and the costing of the equipments to be used.

“That’s why we are asking for an increase in the budget because we want to procure our own medicine,” said Villa.

Villa added that the CHO has been conducting social, civil outreach and surveys, and, as per their records, there is an increased number after the testing.

At present, the patients are aware of their situation which can help them get treatment earlier before the virus gets worse.

The council will ask the mayor to reconvene the Cebu City STD/HIV/AIDS Council.  GAN (FREEMAN)

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