September 21, 2017
Tacloban City -- A new out-patient department building of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center inaugurates this week, supporting the Philippine government's Build Back Better strategies in times of massive natural disasters.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported the construction of the new facility as part of Japan's assistance to Typhoon Yolanda rehabilitation and recovery.
"We brought Japanese know-how in building the facility using disaster resilient designs and consequently enhance access and delivery of health services in the region," said JICA Chief Representative Susumu Ito.
The 5,272 square meters, three-story building, a component of JICA's 4.6B yen grant aid assistance for Typhoon Yolanda, features screen blocks to protect the building's openings from flying debris, windows that can withstand strong winds, power generator, and water supply that can stock up to three days of water.
The OPD also has rooms for consultation, treatment, and rehabilitation among others. Its design will also allow for more comfortable waiting spaces for patients, and improved privacy through individualized clinics.
The EVRMC, which served as operations center during Typhoon Yolanda, is also the only teaching and training hospital in Eastern Visayas. The facility, the end-referral hospital of all hospitals in the region, is strategically located midway between Samar and Leyte.
As part of JICA's support to the province, a Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteer (JOCV) was dispatched at EVRMC to help enhance workplace productivity, while a Senior Volunteer was dispatched to assist in the preventive maintenance of medical equipment.
"With this new facility, we are confident that more people will have better access to quality health care and benefit from quality design standards that Japan shared in building the project," said EVRMC Chief Dr. John Edward Coloma. About 350 patients are expected to be treated in the EVRMC OPD daily.
Apart from the EVRMC OPD, the JICA Grant Aid Assistance for Typhoon Yolanda Rehabilitation and Recovery also includes rebuilding of schools, Rural Health Unit, municipal hall, provision of equipment to the National Maritime Polytechnic, meteorological radar stations, and electric cooperatives.