24 Feb The global health worker shortage needs to be addressed
PovertyMatters Blog, Guardian.co.uk
Criselda Gallo sits in a white coat behind the desk of a small one-room building that serves as a health centre to the South Field resettlement area in Laguna province. There are more than 12,800 people living in the long streets of single-room houses, virtually all of whom were made homeless by the catastrophic flooding to which the Philippines is prone.
Including the 2,400 very poor residents living beyond the resettlement area, Gallo is the sole provider of state-funded healthcare for more than 15,000 people.
She is not a doctor, or even a nurse. She is trained as a midwife. But Gallo is all the district of Biñan can afford. She does everything. She starts work at 7am and finishes at 5pm, but patients can call or text her at any time if a woman goes into labour. On Mondays, she offers general out-patient treatment, on Tuesdays she has an antenatal clinic, on Wednesdays she does immunisation, on Thursdays she offers more treatment and on Fridays she runs a family planning clinic.