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In a bid to bring more health services closer to the residents of Malamawi Island, Mayor Sitti Djalia Turabin-Hataman led, October 12, the ground-breaking ceremony for the anticipated construction of the Malamawi Super Health Center (SHC) —the first ever SHC in Basilan Province.

Funded by the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of the Department of Health with support from the Office of Senator Christopher Lawrence Go and through the initiative of Basilan Lone District Representative and Deputy Minority Leader Mujiv Hataman, the SHC aims to provide all basic health services and those that are specialized at the local level such as the outpatient department, laboratory, X-ray, ultrasound, birthing, diagnostic, pharmacy, and emergency services, and eventually serve as a medium version of a polyclinic, offering a wide range of services including laboratory testing, pharmacy, dental care, and minor surgical procedures.

“Isa itong napakalaking tulong sa amin… Itong ating Super Health Center ay parte sya ng iba’t ibang development na ginagawa natin sa Malamawi. Tina-try nating maparating [ang serbisyong medikal] doon sa… mga marginalized na communities natin including ang ating [mga] IPs,” said Mayor Turabin-Hataman who noted that the occasion fell during the National Indigenous Peoples Month.

DOH Assistant Secretary Dr. Leonita Paredes-Gorgolon, who served as guest-of-honor, remarked that the project was also meant to decongest Basilan General Hospital and that she was glad to have witnessed a high-impact endeavor for the benefit of Isabeleños. DOH earmarked P11,500,000 for the said SHC with P6.5 million for the building and P5 million for an ambulance.

Although it will be constructed in Barangay Sta. Barbara, the SHC will also serve the healthcare needs of neighboring barangays Carbon, Diki, Lukbuton, Marang Marang, Panigayan, and Tamapalan.

Also present during the event were PhilHealth Board Member Alejandro Cabading who represented Senator Go, DOH-ZPCHD Assistant Regional Director Dr. Lenny Joy Rivera, Chief Local Health Support Division of DOH-ZPCHD Dr. Augusto Manolo Alpichi, Basilan General Hospital CMO Dr. Sitti Nurussamsi Casalin-Amilasan, and doctors and personnel from the City Health Office led by CHO Dr. Mohrein Ismael VI. Lending their support by their presence were Councilors Yusop Abubakar, Bimbo Epping, Abner Rodriguez, Karel Annjaiza Sakkalahul, IPMR Mary May Julhari and Sta. Barbara Punong Barangay Jim Fernandez. (Words by M. Guerrero/Photos by M. Santos, CIO)