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DOH readies personnel for psycho-social intervention in Calabarzon

The Department of Health (DOH) has started training around 400 personnel in Calabarzon to undergo a three-day training and prepare them in holding psychosocial intervention activities to Dengvaxia recipients and family members, an official said Thursday.

"The rationale for this is to develop their psychosocial skills to handle the cases as well as rebuilding and rekindling the thrust, confidence and acceptance of the affected individuals, patients, their families and public health services," Dr. Paulina Calo, DOH Calabarzon Mental Health Program coordinator said in an interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA) at the sidelines of the training session in Quezon City.

Calo said there will be a total of eight batches of health workers that will undergo the training, which started last May 9 and will conclude on May 11.

The training for all the batches is expected to be completed within this month.

Calo said the first batch included different program managers, provincial health team leaders and health education promotion officers of the region.

The group will form the region's "speakers’ bureau". Other succeeding trainings will include city health officers and municipal health officers.

Ma. Isabel Lanada, DOH Calabarzon Disaster Risk Reduction Management practitioner and counselor, said the training will include skills enhancement in providing care for Dengvaxia recipients experiencing trauma, fear and anger.

"These activities are being done to basically prepare the mental health of our health providers as we know, they can be stressed and traumatized also," Lanada said.

Part of the training also pertains to ensuring that healthcare workers are aware of their responsibilities such as delivering different health services that the DOH can provide.

She said that it is important to stay calm, control their emotion and stay professional whenever confronted with "difficult" clients.

"There is a part of the training where we emphasize the need to practice ethics so that even if they are confronted with harsh words or whatever will be said against them, just exercise maximum tolerance since they are the front-liners," Lanada said.

Other parts of the training also include familiarization of health workers on the Dengvaxia timeline of events/issues when they are deployed to the communities and schools.

Leilani Junio / PNA