Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura and Aurora Provincial Governor Bellaflor J. Angara-Castillo signed the grant contract for â€œThe Project for Upgrading of Maria Aurora Community Hospitalâ€ at the Embassy of Japan on March 14, 2008.
Ma. Aurora Community Hospital (MACH) in the municipality of Ma. Aurora, Aurora province lacks the necessary medical equipment to provide health services to its 40,000 residents. It is classified as an infirmary with a 15-bed capacity, but due to the volume of patients it actually operates as a 25-bed hospital. The hospital receives around 5,000 patients per year, most of whom are indigents. Most of the equipment currently in use by the hospital are already outmoded and dilapidated thus affecting the quality of health service rendered to patients. For example, due to the absence of appropriate laboratory equipment more than 33 percent of patients had to go to other hospitals and private clinics for their blood chemistry analysis which increases the cost of treatment.
With the US$61,300 grant from the Embassy of Japanâ€™s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects or GGP, MACH will be able to procure new medical equipment such as laboratory tools, medical instruments, beds, delivery and examination tables and nursing equipment which would boost its capacity to provide adequate, appropriate and accessible health service to residents. On top of that, it will also construct a waste treatment facility to improve the hospitalâ€™s sanitary condition, and a powerhouse complete with a generator to provide ample supply of electricity to the hospital even during emergency situations.
GGP was launched in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help various communities engaged in grassroots activities. As of 2007, 399 small-scale grassroots projects funded by GGPâ€“ ranging in cost from roughly PhP 1 to 4 million â€“ have been implemented by NGOs, local government units, and other non-profit organizations. For more information about GGP and/or how to apply for grant assistance, interested organizations may visit the Embassy of Japanâ€™s website at www.ph.emb-japan.go.jp (click â€œJapanâ€™s ODA to the Philippinesâ€).
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