The Department of Health regional office in Tacloban City is planning to train 800 public health nurses to help rehabilitate thousands of self-confessed drug dependents in Eastern Visayas.
The health department last week trained 300 nurses, representing the first batch of local health workers tasked to assess the status of surrendered drug personalities.
DoH Regional Director Minerva Molon said they are seeking more funds to train more local health workers, including city and municipal health officers.
The initiative prioritizes health workers trained by the national government to deal with cases of mental disorders after Super Typhoon “Yolanda” ravaged the region in 2013.
“Currently, the DoH-Treatment and Rehabilitation Center has only 10 assessors who can evaluate 60 drug dependents daily,” Molon said.
The DoH will also meet provincial health officers to find out which district hospitals are less utilized. These health facilities can be tapped for outpatient treatment and temporary confinement of drug dependents with mental disorders.
The health department earlier deployed 1,600 nurses and half are engaged in community-based drug rehabilitation and treatment. The rest retained their post as implementers of health programs.
Eastern Visayas has only one state-run drug treatment and rehabilitation facility located in Dulag, Leyte. The center, which will reopen next month, can only accommodate up to 100 drug dependents.
The DoH-TRC will soon complete the P30-million reconstruction of its compound that was damaged by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.