The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has directed the immediate deployment of nurses under its Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) program to several barangays in Metro Manila that were badly hit by Typhoon Ondoy.
Labor and Employment Secretary Marianito D. Roque said that 40 nurses will initially be deployed to the most needy barangays particularly in San Juan, Pateros, Taguig, Caloocan, Malabon, Mandaluyong, Pasay, and Navotas.
The Labor and Employment Chief said that in effect, a total of five NARS nurses will be deployed per critically-affected barangay to render the appropriate medical services, in view of the emergency brought about by the typhoon.
He indicated that the five-nurse NARS teams will work to complement and reinforce the rescue and rehabilitation efforts being pushed by the Philippine government in designated evacuation centers, to ensure the health and assist in the medical efforts to prevent sickness in the affected places.
"Amidst the developments and the need to aid our people affected by the floods brought by Typhoon Ondoy," Roque emphasized, "the urgent activation and deployment of the 40 nurses to the affected areas are both relevant and most timely in line with the mission and purpose of Project NARS."
Labor Undersecretary Carmelita M. Pineda, who heads the DOLE Project NARS effort as the main focal person, underscored the importance of the Project NARS in mobilizing unemployed registered nurses to the poorest municipalities in the country in response to crisis.
Pineda emphasized that the nurses will act as "warriors of wellness" who initiate primary health, school nutrition, maternal health programs, and first line diagnosis; inform about community water sanitation practices and do health surveillance; as well as immunize children and mothers.
Project NARS is a Training cum Deployment Project jointly implemented by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Health (DOH) and the Professional Regulation Commission, Board of Nursing (PRC-BON), and designed to mobilize unemployed registered nurses to the 1,000 poorest municipalities of the country to improve the delivery of health care services.
The Project is also in line with the pump priming strategies under the Economic Resiliency Plan of the Arroyo Administration to mitigate the impact of the crisis by saving and creating as many jobs as possible, while expanding social protection. NARS simultaneously aims to address the glut in inexperienced nurses, promote health of the people, and bring the government closer to them.